Time's Arrow

At a standoff at the Kustetiera System, the young Kixi Rajki is unwittingly caught in a vicious confrontation between herself & the military leader of that system. With the weight of having to make a hard decision resting on her shoulders, she finds herself with little choice but to fire a lethal biological weapon upon an enemy that is now all but defeated. That, or watch her soulmate who is taken hostage by that very same leader be murdered. Little is she aware, that matters are by far more complex than she can possibly imagine, & that treachery runs deeper than she could even possibly begin to foresee. Unknowingly, her choice ultimately making no difference to the destiny of her beloved girlfriend, her life as she knows it is about to dramatically change forever. Soon after, an unprecedented chain of events is triggered, as she departs on a perilous mission in an attempt to change the events at that one pivotal moment of deception at Kustetiera, to save her one & only true love.

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18. Chapter 10

 

Darth Zahl looked at Kixi with pure hatred. He wanted to finish her, to have both her and her friend spilt along the park, but he stopped himself. There were still questions that needed to be answered. He reluctantly gave the order to cuff and band them, roughly, as they were dragged to a discreet personnel carrier with tinted windows and the Sith emblem.

Free-Eyes saw this and told Vinskk, "Don't shoot! They'll take care of her." Vinskk hesitated and reluctantly packed up his rifle. Despite already having seen a stray blaster bolt hit Kixi's head, a second shot targeted to the same spot would have undoubtedly killed her, that, given her body shield had now been completely depleted. However with the Sith now having taken her into custody, the Trandoshan thought the wiser and backed off.

"Vinskk will follow them." They climbed down the building and hopped on the speeder, following the now moving Sith vehicle.

*****

Kixi sat in the brightly lit up interrogation room, cuffed and bound. Mako wasn't there, however Kixi could feel her life force present – and diminishing rapidly in a nearby cell. Normally a Sith Interrogator would have been called in to interrogate and torture her for answers, however Darth Zahl had found Kixi intriguing, and bizarrely different to say the least from anyone he'd ever come up against. He thus had sought to it personally, to come face to face with her, to learn whatever profound secrets she had lurking inside of her – and he had complete confidence in himself that she did. Upon having then extracted whatever information from his prisoner, he would then proceed without further delay, with the termination of both Kixi and her... pet friend – that abominable thing... terminated for her viscous crimes against the Sith.

Darth Zahl – towering, poised and self important – easily strolled to the centre of the room, hands linked behind his back as he took in his prisoner. His dark eyes which seemed to glow yellow, regarded Kixi with disdain, to the point that he dared not even give her another second of his moment.

Once they rolled passed Kixi's contorted face, Zahl's eyes scanned the spartan like surroundings of the holding cell, before once again landing on the single living person in his presence. Secrets – silent, cold and merciless, Zahl could sense them by glaring into the woman's eyes, beautiful innocent crystal like blue eyes – deceiving – as behind them, lay secrets weary of their tyranny, and tales well beyond the origins of the Galaxy.

"Who are you and where are you from? Answer me now!" Zahl wasted no time with pointless pleasantries, immediately proceeding in slapping her across the face using the gloved back of his hand. Totally defenceless, it instantly caused blood to ooze out of her mouth, while tearing at skin and flesh on the right of her cheek, causing further lacerations.

And then it happened again... A strange flash of light, followed by bizarre distorted unrecognisable sounds. Just before it happened, there was a vague sense of familiarity the washed over Kixi, as the dark lord of the Sith asked the question. Just seconds before she looked him in the eye, she knew that he had asked the question before, and she could predict his next move, that he would hit her across the cheek with the glove of his hand only a millisecond before it happened.

"Who are you and where are you from? Answer me now!" Zahl slapped her across the face using the gloved back of his hand, causing blood to ooze out of her mouth, while tearing at skin and flesh on the right of her cheek, lacerating the area of her face. She could've sworn, that what had happened had felt like déjà vu. Yet Darth Zahl had only asked the question once, and consequently only one strike to her face had followed.

"I am Kixi Rajki, First Prime of the noble House of Sunrider, Sajnen Confederate," she responded in a very crestfallen state.

The Sith Lord then suddenly backed off at the faint sound of a squishing noise coming from the lacerated wound on the woman's face, dumbfounded at what he had witnessed. The lacerations he had only seconds earlier inflicted upon Kixi's face, had suddenly mended themselves and vanished.

Infuriated, he stared at her chagrined for just the briefest of moments, before finally putting his hands on Kixi's throat and pressing on it with a firm grip. Immediately struggling for air, she clawed her fingers at his hands uselessly, and used whatever breath she still had to scream for help – not that it made any sense doing so.

His hands were grasping at her throat, leaving her without air. His palms were pressing against her throat, and she could feel her oesophagus closing. Kixi gulped and gasped for breath, struggling against Zahl's firm grip. Kixi gripped her skinny neck with her fingers, squeezing tightly. She then clawed her fingers at his hands, but it was a futile act. Her own hands fell to her side as the energy from within her escaped her. Zahl's long skinny fingers felt like tendrils around her neck. His grip was too strong to wriggle out of. Kixi's lungs started to ache and her eyes were bulging. Her eyes were wide with fear, as she came off her chair and sagged to the ground, kicking her legs and screaming. With his weight on top of her now, he tightened his fingers around her throat, completely cutting off her air supply. As a result, Kixi's face began to turn into a sickening colour, as her sight started to close in on her. Her mind grew hazy as her brain desperately scrambled to make sense of all that was unfolding.

Then just as Kixi was about to blackout, Zahl released his grip, causing her to gasp in some much needed air into her ailing lungs. However she had been rendered speechless and temporarily incapacitated. The Sith Lord forcibly lifted her off the ground, and slammed her back down on the same chair she had only been seated on a minute earlier. Kixi sat as if paralysed from the neck up, gibbering nonsense, unable to comprehend what had just occurred, and stood as gormless as a guppy.

As her senses slowly began to return, the thought did occur to her as to why a powerful Sith of Zahl's calibre didn't just use the Force to choke her, rather than physically use his hands to do so. Perhaps he physically wanted to feel her weaker form to empower himself she deliberated, yet before she could further examine a reason, her thoughts were once again violently interrupted.

This time he took a strike at her forehead, the rough edges of his glove easily slashing a new lacerated wound across her skin. Kixi yelped in pain as the impact alone hurt like hell, and further caused a nose bleed. And then it happened again. The surprising, yet frustrating matter of his victim's face automatically mending itself – at least for the most part of it, the wound on Kixi's forehead closed up and disappeared.

"What the hell are you?" Darth Zahl angrily demanded.

"I'm human just like you, you fucking stupid cunt!" Kixi snarled back in anger spitting blood out of her mouth and coughing violently. And then once again it reoccurred, the strange flash of light, this time with both his and her voice sounding as if being imitated by an unknown entity, like an echo of the past.

Darth Zahl took a strike at her forehead, the rough edges of his glove easily slashing a new lacerated wound across her skin. Kixi yelped in pain as the impact alone hurt like hell, and further caused a nose bleed. Then as with the previous time, the laceration mended itself leaving the dark lord astounded.

"What the hell am I?" Kixi spat out already anticipating the Sith's immediate question. Although it had irritated him, Kixi's anticipation of what he was about to ask her, did cause the dark warrior to raise an eyebrow in astonishment.

"I don't know what is happening to me." Kixi replied, her whole body shaking, playing the part of pretence or ignorance over the subject at hand. Although this time, she was absolutely certain of it. She had relived the same memory twice, however Darth Zahl had only asked the question and committed his action once. The nanites inside her bloodstream were the sole reason as to why her body was repairing itself. As for the lapses in time, that too she immediately had came to realise what had began occurring.

Kixi yet didn't know it, but she would shortly discover that her original mission objective for coming to this galaxy in the first place, would not be far from realisation. Although it needed to be all in good time – such as soon, as bar the agonising pain, the nanites in her body would eventually kill her if the Sith didn't do it first.

To herself, Kixi attempted to explain it, however the pain fog made it difficult to clearly explain everything. Dr Bela's nanites which had been injected into Kixi's body comprised two parts. The first part being first generation nanotech, or a first generation nanite controller. That had kept Kixi alive by fixing her body tissues, mending her wounds and so forth. The silicon ceramic the nanites were made out of, made them sensitive to pH and oxidation differences. They could also figuratively sniff out cancer tumors by detecting their acidic and low oxygen surroundings. They were quite advanced and in Kixi, the nanites removed all scarred and damaged tissue in her body, as damage was being constantly inflicted by the dark lord, by somehow triggering normal healthy tissue growth.

The second part regarding replicating the Orb of Passage was a completely different form of nanite technology. Using Kerons to construct replicator blocks to assemble replicators in what ever form required, in Kixi's case the design of the orb was inserted into the DNA building blocks of the specific type of nanite in question, allowing for the keron energy in being transformed into nanites in liquid type form. Now that the millions of tiny nanite cells were in Kixi's body, her body had already initiated the process of slow decay, as the nanites took over it in their attempt to transform her body – at least the inside of it, into the orb itself. Ultimately it would be this part of Dr. Bela's injection, that would kill Kixi in the event of mission objective failure.

Kixi's thoughts squarely returned to the present. She immodestly stared into the menacing displeased eyes of Zahl, who as she already had anticipated, didn't buy into her initial response of not understanding as to what was happening to her.

Aeil entered the room then, viewing the entire scene from a one way window. "Her heart rate is rising way above normal parameters. My Lord, she isn't an alien or anything. She's from another galaxy."

"Another galaxy? Are those the lies she's been feeding you!" The dark of lord of the Sith retorted, brushing aside the Bothan's ludicrous claim.

"What's wrong with you? What did you put in yourself that's allowing you to heal?" Darth Zahl turned his attention back to Kixi, grabbing her by the throat as he examined her face.

"Get a blood sample and look at it under a microscope." He angrily roared out to the observing Bothan who was only too eager to comply.

*****

In the meantime, Mako was receiving torture as well, but in a very specific way. Another Sith Master was using Force lightening on her cybernetic parts, threatening to shut down her life support if she didn't answer his questions. She was close to overloading, nearly at breaking point.

Vinskk and Free-Eyes were zipping their way over to the interrogation centre. "Sith cannot kill Kixi. Vinskk has to finish Human."

Free-Eyes agreed, saying, "I'm going double time!"

*****

Kixi could feel the constant continuous flow of pain being inflicted on Mako. "Leave her alone you bastards!" Kixi spat and shouted, turning her own head from side to side, as her body jolted due to the severe pain she was receiving at the hands of an unremorseful Darth Zahl.

"Stalling is futile woman!" Zahl's patience was being tested to its brink. "You can make this less painful on yourself by simply cooperating. So I'm gonna ask you a final time. What technology have you got inside of you that is allowing for you to heal?" Zahl this time used the Force to choke Kixi, the invisible grip holding and squeezing tightly around her neck. Kixi again gasped for air, lifting off her seat and placing two hands futilely around her neck area. Then without any indication, the Sith Lord released his grip on her, having stopped short of killing her, and allowing for Kixi to slump back down on her chair with a loud thud.

"They're nanites, or a form of complex nanotech technology. They're basically a one way ticket. You can't remove them without killing me, and if you do, the technology's secret dies with me. Although it's all trivial," she spat out still coughing... struggling. "They're going to end up consuming me and killing me anyway."

Then, without any prior warning whatsoever, it was bright. Although they were in a closed cell, all of a sudden it had felt as if there were open windows, allowing for the soft underworld breeze to enter, and the imaginary curtains to flutter. Then another light flashed clear, and bright by the side of the first one, and then the entire scene repeated itself, with Kixi being choked by the Sith's invisible grip, and then finally giving in to answer his question. Yet it had only happened once. For Kixi, the rifts in the time continuum were well and truly underway.

However all she needed now before she could execute her precise plan to take her back to that precise moment in the past, and alter the timeline, was Mako in her presence – and in her arms. In the event of failure, as far as Kixi strongly believed, she had faith, that the universe fought for souls to be together. Some things were too strange and strong to be coincidences. Her entire epic journey so far was proof of it. If she failed, she would die along side the only person that mattered to her.

Still short on breath and gasping, Kixi finally summoned the courage to make a demand knowing, that she was in a perfect position to demand it. "If you stop torturing Mako, and let me speak to the Trandoshan Vinskk Revamp, I will tell you everything that you want to know."

The Bothan spoke to Darth Zahl in hushed tones.

"Fine. We'll find him." The Sith Lord responded sardonically, not really caring so much, as long as he got whatever information he needed from Kixi before her pending execution. In the nearby cell, the Torture Master there stopped interrogating Mako as he received the order, stopping short of killing her.

Vinskk and Free-Eyes were just about to enter the Sith centre when the door opened, Aeil bumped right into the two of them. "Oh, good! I don't have to track you down. She wants to see you, Vinskk. It's the only way she'll talk."

The Trandoshan nodded. They were lead into the holding cell area, where Vinskk started planning on how he was going to kill the pitiful Züncålazin, and how he would get away with it. A cell door was opened in front of him by the Bothan.

"Remember, you're being monitored," a burly Sith interrogator reminded him.

"I know, Human." He stepped in the room to see Kixi chained and banded, blood splattered on the white walls. The door was closed behind him and Vinskk stood there, trying to contain himself from killing her then and there.

Snarling at the Trandoshan as he entered, she stared into his hateful eyes. Kixi now understood that if she could combine his hate with hers, that she could reach back far enough when the ripples in the timeline continuum had occurred. Although she was also fully aware that she'd get just one shot at it too, to go back to that pivotal moment in her life, where everything had suddenly changed, where Mako was unjustly maimed at the brutal hands of one man, Terron Hesh. That was the one pivotal moment in her life where she'd changed, Mako's hurting, her pain, her suffering, had become Kixi's as well, and consequently the turning point where she had become the hating killer tyrrant that she now was. Now she lay clinging for her own life at the hands of people no different. 'How ironic,' she mused to herself.

"Hello Vinskk... I'm dying. So I... would like to ask one... final request from you." Kixi tried ever so hard to squeeze the words out of her mouth.

Inside of her, the pain that once burned like fire had faded away to an icy numbness. Black filled the edges of her vision and the only thing she could hear was the sound of her own heartbeat. Her breath came in ragged, shallow gasps. Seconds passed as she sat there, chained but still on her chair.

"I will... grant you your... wish... to kill me by... your hand. However... only if... you grant me mine... to die... alongside Mako. By now you... must have come... to realise that she is more... than just a friend." Kixi coughed and spat blood as the words came out slowly and muffled. If she were to fail her mission, then she would at least die happy. Her indescribable pain flowed through her. Her heart squeezed as she dropped her head down.

Vinskk lifted her head up by pulling it up by her hairs, and stared into her very soul with pure hatred. Every part of him just wanted to tear her apart there, when she was so weak and vulnerable. But then he knew this was her final request. He had started off as a servant, and she would end with him still being one. "What... must Vinskk do? How is Trandoshan supposed to get Humans next to each other?"

*****

Meanwhile, Free-Eyes and Aeil were talking outside of the room...

“We've got some interesting tech off of the small escape pod like ship Free-Eyes. Why don't you come by one of these days and help the Sith take it apart and examine it? I saw what you did with that antimatter belt thing. You'd be perfect for the job. And for the Bothans... you could help us acquire some info. Up to you. ”

The Gran scratched the back of his head. "I work solo. Though, it will take lots of credits to change that..."

*****

"Your task is easy," Kixi said in and almost slow like whisper. By this stage, it had been the nanites in Kixi's bloodstream keeping her alive, however it would be the same nanites in her body that would eventually consume and kill her.

White, a blazing radiant laser of brilliance pierced her eyelids despite them being only but a sliver open. Kixi scowled at her own reasoning, grumbling beneath her breath at even the thought about giving the Trandoshan scumbag, the opportunity he craved for most – to slay her.

“Inform Darth Zahl, that I will reveal all about my people and our technologies, under the only strict condition that I'm granted the right to die together with Mako. Furthermore you must be the one to carry out or execute the deed. He is desperate to learn of all my secrets, thus I'm quite confident that he'll comply. If I die by his hand or in any other way... my secrets will die.. along with me. It's more than a fair trade for him and the Sith, given they'll get what they want, and I along with Mako... will be dead." Kixi strongly emphasised her point as she finished speaking, and then dropped her head down. Slowly she then raised it up again. "And... you'll have the pleasure to kill... me.”

Despite her own sarcastic remarks, she gave no sign of deceit to it, but only a hint of relief, confident that her request would be fulfilled. "Viiiiiiinsk." Kixi rasped as she attempted to speak one last thing, her eyes shut tightly to ward off the irritating glare of the cell's lights. "I... fucking hate... yuuuu... CUNT!" Was the raspy illegible reply from the once powerful and now dying Züncålazin woman.

Vinskk stared at Kixi for a long time before wordlessy turning and exiting the cell.
"Did Sith hear that?" He asked Darth Zahl.

He nodded. "We were planning to kill them anyway. They destroyed an entire capital ship with all the crew still on it. I suppose you can do it, if she tells us everything we need to know right now." He walked into the cell to tell her the news.

The Trandoshan was satisfied. He couldn't care less about what she wanted, nor her deranged obsession of her half cyborg pet. The Sith Torture Master holding Mako received the news as well, and led Vinskk to a seating area to await the execution.

*****

Free-Eyes and Aeil were still discussing job opportunities. "You know, the 'Net isn't that bad a place to work in. Only minimal threat of capture, torture, and death. Oh, we get great benefits too. Maybe after this whole fiasco is done, you could work with us full time. I don't think we have a Gran on staff anyway."

“Thanks for the offer, but I thought about it right now and I think I need to travel a bit. Vinskk always had this standing offer for me. He said that whenever I wanted to, I could join up with him. Not as a team, but more like a partnership. So I think I'm gonna do that.”

“Suit yourself." The Bothan shrugged, trying to play it off cool, but his fur rippled. He was obviously not happy. "If you ever change your mind, I'll be in touch.”

*****

Darth Zahl returned to Kixi. This time he wasn't alone, as he was accompanied by a Sith Interrogator. Knowing that their prisoner was far too weak to even try, let alone attempt anything rash, Zahl unbound her. He reluctantly chose not to assault her, despite clearly having wanted to kill her himself, because for one, he needed the information that she had promised to deliver, and secondly, he had made an agreement that in exchange for this information, that she could die alongside her other accomplice, and then be executed at the hands of the Trandoshan warrior.

As promised, Kixi gave the Sith all the information regarding ships, weapons, defences, the exact point to point details of the entire Sajnen Confederate, it's enemies, it's allies, and her home planet of birth, Terra Sol. To the surprise of both Sith present with her, she offered no resistance, nor hesitated.

Getting more than what he had bargained, for, Darth Zahl was finally convinced that the battered dying woman that disgusting now stood on her knees before him, was indeed from another faraway galaxy. Two guards then entered, and brought in a downtrodden Mako who was barely alive, and threw her across the room to where Kixi was crouched down on her knees. Zahl satisfied that he now possessed all the information that he had desired, signalled Vinskk into the room to carry out the execution.

In the meantime, Kixi lifted up Mako's limp body, she was barely conscious. Mako half opened and then closed her eyes, acknowledging the loving presence of her partner. Kixi brought her in close to her own body, holding onto her tightly. "You'll be okay my love. Just hold on to me tightly, trust in me, and trust in the Force." Kixi whispered into Mako's ear. Kixi continued to hold Mako closely to her body with her arms fully wrapped around her. Mako unable to maintain her eyes open, didn't need to. She could feel and hear Kixi's unique life form around her – and that was enough for her.

Mako had been beaten up and tortured for no good reason other than to satisfy the hating needs of others. Sadly, an all too familiar sight. "Mako," Kixi whispered into her ear.

Mako opened her eyes – barely, as her life force was rapidly draining.

“It is time." Kixi said. "Repeat these words with me in your mind. Lord Xiz'Jhan and Terron Hesh are the reason why we are here today. Lord Xiz'Jhan and Terron Hesh must be stopped. Both Xiz'Jhan and Hesh will be stopped. Yesterday will determine a new today. Channel all your hate for both those men, and allow us to become one with the dark side of the Force, for we need it for us to reach the passage of the light, which lays within a whisker's reach before us.”

Kixi brought Mako's cold body in closer to her own, and held her as tightly as she possibly could, in order to embrace her with the warmth of her own body. Kixi then slowly brushed Mako's hair softly with the palm of her hand. "Nothing will ever be able to keep us apart, nor tear us apart my sweet love. Absolutely nothing."

The Trandoshan then entered the holding cell as others – the Sith, Free-Eyes and Aeil all watched in anticipation.

Vinskk was handed a blaster as he walked in, but he denied it. The Trandoshan would use his sword to carry out the deed. He looked at the two lying before him, weak and pathetic. Today would be the day he would be free from his bondage. He approached Mako. She would be first. He grabbed her roughly and pulled her cyborg body away from Kixi. The others looked through the room's one way mirror, some in disgust, some in interest. Vinskk loomed over her in indifference. She was precious to Kixi. He would make her suffer. He brought the Trandoshan sword down hard through Mako's abdomen, skewering her through the gut. It was painful just to look at. As the cyborg laid dying on the cold durasteel floor, whoops and applause could be heard from the other side of the window. Free-Eyes looked away as he saw his friend plunge the blade down, while the Sith around him cheered and clapped, noticeably disgusted. An acolyte taunted the Gran, calling him a gizka. Aeil shook his head, but looked on in a form of respect.

"Mako! Nooooooooo!" Kixi cried out helplessly and in terror, as her girlfriend was roughly pulled away from her and gutted like she were nothing more than wild prey. The universe was indeed a cruel place. In the end, Mako was nothing more than an innocent victim, and twice for that matter, with Kixi being the sole perpetrator on all occasions. If anyone deserved to die, it should have been Kixi alone. Soon Mako would be a victim no more, Kixi reflected to herself, drowning on the thought, as the Sith suddenly cheered, as Vinskk moved on to Kixi, bringing his sword up to make the same move.

However at the last possible instant, he lowered his sword to the surprise of all of whom were watching. Yet they would not be disappointed in the violence that would immediately proceed his action. 

Vinskk grabbed Kixi by her shirt, lifting her up, and pinning her on one of the bloodied holding cell's surrounding walls.

"Trandoshan will make Space Witch suffer painfully before Space Witch dies!" The Trandoshan did not smile. He actually looked sympathetic despite the torture he was about to inflict on his victim. Kixi gasped desperately for air, but the pain radiating from her stomach made that impossible.

The sudden pain in her stomach was due to Vinskk ripping a knife out to then properly stab Kixi in the abdomen without warning. The stabbing caused for her to grown and briefly close her eyes at the sudden excruciating pain. He dragged the knife across Kixi's stomach, neatly disemboweling her, Kixi no longer screamed, but gasped helplessly.

"Please," Kixi futilely whispered, blood splattering on her lips. Her eyes now were wide open, but she couldn't see anything except the blurred image of Vinskk Revamp. Kixi was strongly overwhelmed by the pain. She wasn't going to be able to hold out much longer, she needed to time travel now – or die a gruesome death.

Kixi coughed, blood mixed with saliva spraying past her lips. Her body shook and twitched as Vinskk let go of her shirt with his other hand, and her vision tunnelled and she sunk to her knees.

The stab wound looked deep, and was bleeding badly. Kixi gritted her teeth as she clamping a large hand over the wound, her vision and swallowing back nausea.

Vinskk gritted his teeth in anger, but at the same time enjoying the fear in his victim's eyes. Kixi winced, feeling the the blade trace its way down to her chest, as Vinskk lifted her slightly, and then turned her around to have her lay on her stomach, and on top of the pool of her own blood that had been gashing out of her abdomen area.

"You've got a knife through your heart, Space Witch," Vinskk cruelly taunted and teased her. He was holding onto the handle of the knife, not moving it. Kixi could no longer speak. She gargled, her body began twitching violently. Her hands subconsciously tried to find the handle of the knife as they clawed their way up her bloody chest, but Vinskk easily swatted her hands away.

Then, in her intense silence, she somehow screamed with her whole body. Her eyes wide with horror, her mouth rigid and open, her chalky face gaunt and immobile, and her fists clenched with blanched knuckles. The scream tore through her like a great shard of glass. She felt her eyes widen and pulse quicken, her heart thudding like a rock rattling in box. The knife wasn't actually literally in her heart, but that minor detail was trivial in the end. The scream came again, desperate, terrified... human. The blood drained from her face, before she was even aware of making a conscious decision. Her legs were pounding furiously on the cell's cold flooring, while her ribs felt like they had snapped like twigs. Her scream, it was the kind of scream that made one's blood run cold. It pierced the brain and ignited some primeval pathway. Adrenaline surged through her veins to fight it. Fight it and stay alive for the few more precious minutes needed, or die in vain along with Mako.

Hate and anger now fully enveloped Kixi, triggering the ripples, the temporal anomaly, the shift in time was beginning. However this time without error, it could be felt by the Sith above her watching, and in particular, Darth Zahl.

In fact Zahl had realised it now, why their prisoner had been so eager at having her own execution carried out – why she so easily had revealed all her secrets.

"Stop her! I know what she is trying to do!" He frantically yelled out, but it was all too late.

The hatred that fueled in Kixi's mind would temporarily blanket the minds of the Trandoshan and all in the vicinity around her watching. They would witness it all through Kixi's own mind, what she was about to see and do, by temporarily forming a collective mind with the others around her. Kixi was indeed ready to time travel back to Kustetiera.

She began speaking to the Trandoshan in the third person, in riddles, as he once again, took his sword, lifted it up, and prepared to deliver the final lethal blow.

"He shall never harm me, nor shall he ever get that chance, for he cannot harm one that has never crossed his path." She paused and hissed as the Trandoshan readied his blow to rip Kixi apart. She continued to speak as she could now feel the ripples, as the timeline continuum began to distort. "Good bye Vinskk, time is not linear, we may well cross paths again under different circumstances, although one thing is for certain, I doubt either of us will remember one another."

The Trandoshan cared little for his to be victim's pitiful words. Without further delay, he bared his strike down upon Kixi to deliver the killer blow... And then the flash of light, the distortion, it lasted longer than usual for what seemed an eternity. Kixi suddenly felt like she was riding a storm, taken away by a tornado of winds, that were about to seal her fate once and for all, regardless on whether she succeeded or failed.

 

And then there was silence...


The collective minds of the many souls present at the execution chambers of Kixi Rajki and Mako Jhasmin Zaneca suddenly lay frozen in the rift of time, no longer a torrent that moved linear in one direction, but rather it stood still, suspended at the one pinnacle point in time, billions of light years away, from a time long since gone. And in the now, the images they would witness before them, in their temporary realm of existence, once more becoming the present for the young Züncålazin woman. Finally, her chance to alter the very fabric of time by rewriting her own destiny, erasing the catastrophic events that had doomed both her and the one she cared for dearest .

*****

 

Kustietera System outer fringes, Lat-Saena Galaxy. Sajnen year 102098 ADA.

 

The Züncålazin Kixi Rajki First Prime of Sunrider, anxiously stared out from the viewpoint in space from her ship's bridge in which she commanded. The young 23 year old of The House of Sunrider, a noble house, and one of the 12 entities that comprised the volatile Sajnen Confederate, watched on at the dramatic events unfolding both in space and on the bridge of her ship, the MXS Morihei Ueshiba, a Sajnen Defiant XS-2006 class battleship.

The Ueshiba along with its contingency of both Sajnen and allied ships in the dozens behind it, from afar let off the illusion of a giant space creature spreading out its enormous arms far and wide. Moving in closer, the pilot's views from their fast circling Sajnen Starfighter R fighters saw the vastly gathered ships like a giant fishing net stretched between the countless stars and satellites filling the black void.

These fighters which numbered in the thousands, further strengthened the parallel by the other handful of ships of various sizes, with even more swarms of ships belonging to the combined forces that were of both Confederate and Atlantean designation, and from their respective Androj'Meden and Ensa'El Galaxies.

On the opposing side, in between the swarms of allied ships, the world ships of an advanced lizard like alien species known as the Vistesh were surrounded. The eight remaining world ships, all that remained of the invading aliens of the planet Kustetiera, had managed to evade and then escape after the unleashing of the lethal Genghis Virus, which resulted in the slaying of millions of the reptilian aliens, liberating Kustetiera in the process. Their desperate escape had proven futile however, only to be then pinned down near a small bright lifeless planet on the remote edge of the very same system they had sought to flee from.

The eight world ships which had received some serious damage huddled in close together, in a low orbit proximity to the planet, appearing to be docked in structure, like some strange and precious sea creatures stuck in together. The reddish planet below was adding an orange hue to the ambient lights of the huge alien world ships, as if they were designed to fill people with a strange mixture of alertness and excitement, typically experienced just before a great and important event. Despite this being a true moment of triumph for the humans of Kustetiera, and for humanity overall, to the occupants of the alien vessels, no such thing would be the case. In fact on the contrary, it would be much the opposite as their occupants would be destined for certain annihilation.

As for the oppressing ships, the main ship in question, the one in command of the entire operation, commanded by Lord Xiz'Jhan's First Prime, lead the armada of ships that stretched out behind it in all directions pinning the last of the Vistesh ships down. From the perspective view of the Vistesh ship's who were now disadvantaged in that they held the lower ground, the MXS Morihei Ueshiba appeared to be dead centre of what gave the illusion of being a huge flying fortress like structure, being less illuminated than the others to the worrisome eyes of the aliens awaiting their fate. The Ueshiba however seemed to radiate its own light, soft and white, even a little eerie. Despite the distance, the ship's elegant lines were clearly visible against the black sky. Although there were similar ships amongst the lurking armada, and although there were also bigger ship's present in what was surely an awesome display of deadly power, the small ship was somehow giving the impression of something fast, agile, and much more dangerous than the design suggested. Of course, all that was in the technical documentation of the ship, like was the case with many vessels, however, it was the connection it's Züncålazin captain had to the vessel, that made the combination of human and machine, a true force to be reckoned with. She could feel the very soul of her ship embracing all its systems and crew, feeling the safety and comfort of being in it, something that further radiated in strength with all the others ships that followed.

The Captain watched in silence as her ship remained in a stationery orbit, along with the many others that waited for her decimating command. However the situation inside the Ueshiba's bridge suggested something else totally different. A rather bizarre and unprecedented turn of events, totally unexpected by the young Züncålazin who due to a lack of experience, almost futilely found herself trying to calm down. Lacking the proper judgement skills to be able to handle matters which had just escalated, she urgently tried to sought out a peaceful solution to a scenario in which she had never been trained to deal with.

Terron Hesh, the leading military leader of Kustietera, the very same planet in which had just been freed at the hands of the forces commanded by the young Züncålazin in which he stood only metres away from her. He held Kixi's first officer, the extremely young 19 year old Mako Jhasmin Zaneca at knife point to her throat.

Standing there, almost as if frozen in time, she looked into the frightened eyes of the one who was more than just her first officer — her love, her very sweet love, her girlfriend and the one she cared for dearest in the entire universe. Eventually, she saw the door to the bridge open before her, and welcomed by the familiar sound of her ship's security team storming in and taking up key positions surrounding both Terron, his hostage, and the desperately pleading captain.

Suddenly she placed the palm of her hand on the right side of her forehead. Her vision blurred for just a flicker of a second. Tilting her head slightly to one side, and due to a greater unknown force, Kixi became immediately aware that something didn't feel quite right. Experiencing an extremely weird sensation, something she simply found hard to fathom or explain to herself, it had felt like she had been where she stood before. The sensation felt vivid, and as if she were somehow experiencing an event from her past. Yet the question on how, naturally passed through her thoughts. After all, she could only currently be in the present – or was she?

"You seem distracted by something more important Captain Rajki?" The sound of Terron's voice snapped Kixi back to the realm of reality that her mind currently existed in.

"No I am not. I'm just not sure if I'm really here?" Kixi replied producing a furrowed brow, still puzzled by something unexplainable, as her eyebrows contracted, and her expression mystified. Her face twisted into a scowl, clearly confused by the situation.

Terron simply smiled derisively. "You're fatuous attempts at stalling are futile. I can assure you Captain, that you are indeed here, and that all this is very real."

Any sense of comfort that the Kustetierian military leader would free her terrified girlfriend at the arrival of her reinforcements soon faded as quickly as it had come.

Terron looked at her with a devious smile, as he tightened his grip on his young hostage's mouth and pushed his knife ever so closer to her neck with the other. He would not allow for Kixi's childish impatience to affect his objectives here. As far as he was concerned, she owed it to him very much from the beginning, to not only free his world, but the total eradication of the enemy. How ironic that felt to the young Züncålazin though, for it had been her that had assisted his world, one that held a technological inferiority to their lizard like alien invaders. She had endured for months to assist their underground, all alone with her sole ship hidden from the aliens that vastly out numbered her, deceitful and intelligent aliens that in a one on one confrontation could actually match her in advanced technology. All that until her reinforcements had finally arrived along with the completion of the deadly Genghis biological weapon designed to destroy only the DNA of the lizard like Vistesh in which she, also being a biological scientist developed. As far as Kixi was concerned, she didn't owe Terron anything, rather he owed her. Yet with the very fact that this tragic event was unfolding, it would undoubtedly cast a huge dent in the relations between Kustetiera and the Sajnen Confederate — or would it really? Oblivious to the Züncålazin's knowledge would be another motive, one that ran much deeper within the hierarchy of the very House she served, except she was too naive to understand it. Clueless on the real intent, in who was really behind Terron's actions, not withstanding the fact that Terron would attempt to kill Mako all the same no matter the outcome, Kixi continued to plead with him.

Terron had only plucked Mako from behind several minutes ago, of course no one had expected it, thus his ease in being able to do so. Still, it seemed like ages that this ordeal that was still in its initial stages had began unravelling itself. Kixi's thoughts now fully occupied with the direness of the situation at hand, fully focused herself on the military leader.

"The war is over, we — you have won. There is no need for more unnecessary violence". The young Züncålazin's voice, undoubtably gave away signs of her youth and inexperience.

"It's not over as far as I'm concerned, not until every last soul of theirs is eradicated from existence". Terron snapped back pushing his knife even closer towards the petrified Mako's throat in that now the smooth sharp shiny blade touched her soft olive skin.

Terron kept looked at her and at the same time at the surrounding security teams with his peripheral vision. The bridge itself was surrounded by displays and viewscreens, Kixi's loyal crew — horrified, while the air seemed to harmonically pulsate with multicoloured lights from controls and ambient lighting.

"They are innocent victims of war. Children, families, all they wanted was to live their lives. They blindly followed their military leaders in the false lies and hope they were given. It's not their fault, they don't deserve death!" Kixi continued to plead with Terron, desperate for him to free the one she loved dearest, not understanding why a man of such statue and importance would turn to taking such desperate and sickening measures himself.

Momentarily releasing the knife from Mako's throat, Terron waved dismissively before placing the knife back onto Mako's throat and replying. "Well, that's an utter exaggeration! Innocent victims you speak of? You're a stupid naive fool Captain Rajki. The only innocent victims are the ones who were tortured and killed during the occupation. You seem to have quickly forgotten, the death toll to my people is catastrophic, and at their hands," he pointed his head angryly to the viewpoint where the Vistesh world ships were clearly visable and trapped.

"All I can say is how very disgusted I am at you Terron", Kixi said, sadness covering her whole face. "Since the very beginning, I voluntarily fought for you and your people and this is how you repay me — by threatening to kill my first officer if I don't bow to your unreasonable wishes? The war is over and your world is free, for fucks sake let her go Terron!" Kixi continues to protest and now with both her hands out, clearly pleading her case with Terron.

"You disappoint me Captain," Terron smirked. "Its not an unreasonable demand. You don't understand, you can never understand as it wasn't your world, your people that have suffered". He pulled the knife closer to Mako's throat, ever so eager to slit it. Mako fearing for her life tried to speak, her eyes appearing as if they would bulge out of her eye sockets in panic.

"Quiet you!" He pushed the knife onto her throat closer now in that the blade pierced the upper part of her skin causing some blood to slowly creep out, and stared down into her horrified eyes before facing Kixi once more.

"Enough of this! Release the remaining Genghis Virus on the enemy world ships now or she dies!" Terron demanded ready to kill the first officer if the captain continued stalling.

"This is genocide Terron", Kixi yelled at him. "You want me to commit genocide. I want no part in this. "Please Terron, let's be reasonable", Kixi continued to futilely plead.

"I've always seen your potential for greatness Captain Rajki. You have been more than impressive in leading this operation to liberate my people from the very beginning. I have always believed in your abilities, your brilliant mind, and the strength of your character." Terron's smirk extended to a devious smile. "However this girl is your weakness. You are far better and superior than her. You shouldn't care for her if she gets in the way of your career and ambitions. Really if you don't want to fire that weapon, me killing this worthless insignificant being shouldn't change that fact if you actually were to put your ambitions above everything. It shouldn't, but it does." Terron said, his smile suddenly vanishing, his face turning totally emotionless. "Under these circumstances, I call this act justified."

“But, but — I love her. Please let her go. You know I with exchange places with her if I could.”

"Oh how very touching Captain, you're such a waste of potential, such a waste of superiority and talent, you really are a pathetic disappointment you worthless Rajki scumbag." Terron simply shook his head in bitter disgust.

Terron's other hand tightened on Mako's mouth, bringing the young writhing woman who struggled to breathe as a result, in closer to his body in a strong firm grip.

“Fire the virus now or I'll slash her throat as if she is nothing more than an animal —Now!”

Kixi again continued to feel her strange sensations. Now it become even more overwhelming than prior. A vision flashed in her head – from the future perhaps, although it felt like the present. Yet how could that be so, as Kixi saw the images of some large green alien like creature gut Mako in half with a sword. She shook her head, totally lost in a rift of time. Something indeed was happening to her, that much she knew, and with the last piece of the puzzle almost in place – soon... Whatever was supposed to happen would be taking its place soon.

Then in her mind, time appeared to stand still once more. Kixi envisioned pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around her shins. If she could just curl up into a ball, she wouldn't have to face real life, she'd be protected from everything around her. But she'd still have to live with herself, with the wretched memories swirling around in her head. "Oh Mako... Oh my sweet love Mako." Her eyes, already red and puffy from crying, squeezed shut to push more tears out as she cried out her girlfriend's name. She let her head fall down to her knees, and pulled her legs closer to her. No matter what she did, there was no where she could hide from the thoughts in her head.

And then she snapped out of her trance, returning her thoughts to her present realm of existence.

"Okay Terron, you win. You win, I'll unleash the virus on the world ships but first let her go." Kixi's entire body posture and facial expression demonstrating nothing more than total defeat. Her total lack of strength exhibiting itself due to her shortfall of experience and inability to deal with such cutthroat and confronting circumstances.

Terron on the other hand, much older, the more wiser and experienced knew exactly what he was doing and how to play his cards correctly. He understood well enough how to play the young and naive captain, how to twist her mind and have her yield to his unethical demands. He had only one objective in mind, and he had an obligation to his people as their military leader. Any quarrels the first prime had with her lord, was no concern of his. He merely would carry out the command given to him by that very same lord, Lord Xiz'Jhan, and not give a damn about what happened in the process, as long as in the end, he satisfied his own objectives.

“What do you take me for, a fool!" Terron retorted. "Release the virus first and then I'll release your precious worthless piece of shit here that you call your girlfriend". Terron now began to make matters personal, just to further intimidate the captain. "I know you can do it. After all, you make a fine captain, Captain Rajki, reject from the noble House Rajki, and now First Prime to his excellency of House Sunrider, Lord Xiz'Jhan in which you represent.”

She starred at him, puzzled, spooked, but somehow she knew. He wasn't going to slash her throat. No. The moment she would unleash the virus, he would shove that hidden explosive down the back of her shirt, push her away from him and in towards her, the bomb would explode, and short of killing her, would destroy half of Mako's body, who would survive as a cyborg and never be the same again. That thought, she knew, it was from a future past. Still not apprehending why, she understood one thing for sure – that Terron Hesh had every intent on murdering the person closest to her heart, and she had to stop him. It would be now or never.

Terron wasn't holding back at all. In fact he couldn't care less about the fact that once the ordeal would be truly over, that the security team that had him surrounded would immediately have him arrested. He knew all too well that Lord Xiz'Jhan would have him immediately released and not only acquit him of his crimes, but also make him an honorary war hero.

Terron raised his eyebrow. "Captain Rajki, Züncålazin, First Prime of Sunrider, all shall fear her name, all will feel her wrath." He continued mockingly, before a long pause in which the two military leaders stared one another in the eye, a look of distain evident on both their faces as they gave each other the death stare.

"Well what are you waiting for, I don't intend to stand here and look at your pretty face all day you stupid little brat. The Genghis Virus, deploy it on those ships now!" Terron said now exposing a hint of frustration at Kixi's fruitless stalling tactics, and further bringing the knife closer to Mako's throat, in that the blade now ruptured her soft skin causing blood to begin dripping out. Simultaneously she began gargling due to her breathing which had also become erratic. "Do it now, I'm about to slit her throat," he snarled back at Kixi.

And then somehow she knew that it had happened some time before... She was living a moment that had already been lived. Everything was familiar in her eyes. Then in that fleeting moment of familiarity, all that might have been lived before deemed itself brand new.

Kixi was on the very brink of knowing all of what was possible to know, but the barrier of impending doom held that at bay. For the briefest of moments she knew precisely what was to occur, yet could never be certain until the event. Even now, in the desperate state she found herself in, she wondered, who was she? What had she done?

Then, weirdly, her mind, and her soul, transported themselves outside of her body, anew in the paradox in time dilation. This time she found herself watching herself, and the events as they were unfolding. Strangely enough, although she didn't know why, but she felt that she could now foretell the future – or the past if the timeline that had momentarily become the realm of her existence, was now the present. She could finally comprehend what was happening, even if she didn't understand how or why. For her, time no longer flowed in one direction. Past, present, future – it had all become the same reality. Her heart throbbed along, as her conscious awareness in her astral body moved ahead in the time dilation paradox, from that, to the one in the reality of the physical plane, further losing her sense of reality. Something clicked. Although she was only there mentally, it was in the brisk temperature of the bridge, the dark illumination and lit up consoles and floating holo displays, the distorted sounds of voices and sounds being heard in slow motion – especially in the explosion. Alarm bells rang in her head. 'You know this! You've been here before, experienced this tragedy before!' It couldn't be. This was the first time she had been on the bridge of her ship with Terron Hesh. But the ache of familiarity was so powerful, she began second guessing those simple facts. The universe felt like her earliest memory, like a dream half remembered. She had the queerest feeling that she'd lived through this moment before...

But then that moment ended, and so did the odd feeling. Returning back into her body and shaking her head, she mumbled, "Deja vu." Now she remembered, everything, but it would only be for the spur of the moment. Once she stopped Terron from unleashing his sinister plans against Mako, the current realm would become the present, forging out a new timeline and most importantly of all, erasing the nightmare of the other – but only if she succeeded...

Kixi stared directly into Terron's unforgiving eyes, then shifted her gaze to those of her petrified girlfriend, and then back to Terron. This was it, she had returned from the future, back to that pivotal point in time to where her fate would be decided.

Kixi took in slow deep heavy breaths. She could still feel its powerful presence as she locked gazes with her adversary. All the dark side of the Force knowledge and power she had gained was still present. That would remain with her, and only vanish without a trace in the event of success. Now more than ever she needed to unleash its power, and she would do so for the last time – ironically it would be for good.

"You... intend to kill her anyway." Kixi said slowly, but in a loud and penetrating voice.

Terron surprisingly didn’t say a word, as he stared motionlessly straight ahead at Kixi. Never expecting Kixi to suspect his iniquitous intents, he stood there overthinking.

“Stop overthinking. I already have lived through this before. How is none of your concern. I will not bow to your wishes as you will attempt to kill Mako all the same."

All of a sudden Terron's eyebrows curled against each other, and his eyes widened with panic, despite his poor attempts in trying to hide it. “Have you absolutely lost your mind Captain Rajki," he whimpered.

"Oh I can really tell now in your voice Terron. You were planning to kill Mako the whole time, whether I carry out your request or not." 

"Why... Captain... That is absolutely absurd! Why would I want to do that once the virus has been unleashed?" Terron said with haste, as by now he had understood it all. Kixi somehow, with reasons beyond his own level of comprehension, had known that he had the blood thirsty will to kill Mako, thus deciding he would just slit her throat instead of blowing her up.

It would be now or never, Terron brought Mako's head close into his chest so that he had her firmly placed to easily slice the knife's blade through the smooth skin of her neck, and then through her throat to sever it.

Indeed it wasn't what had occurred during the original ill fated turn of events. However it didn't matter. Astounded by Kixi's revelations, Terron had altered his tactics, and unless Kixi could free her girlfriend from his black-hearted clutches, the situation would yet become far worse than Kixi dared to anticipate. Mako was essentially about to become a sack of dead meat. There was no time to think, before Terron could slit Mako's throat, something - something unseen yet incredibly strong - yanked the weapon from his hand and sent it flying into her grip. The clanging sound of the knife that Kixi then calmly dropped onto the metal flooring of the bridge's decking, was immediately overshadowed by the sound of electricity sizzling out of her hands, hitting Terron's body with close to lethal ramifications, causing him to stagger backwards, and drop to the ground causing a loud slump.

In the moment that Mako was finally liberated from her captor, the odd sensation of a ringing sound began growing in Kixi's ears. That soon passed and a gust of wind, came out of nowhere that almost rocked her back on her heels. Yet it wasn't real wind, but rather the effects of time travel finally coming to its dramatic conclusion. Only Kixi could feel it, and what felt like minutes in Kixi's own time dilation paradox, took mere seconds to pass in the realm of reality around her. The gust turned into a bleak thin wind, like a fine sour wine, searching the marrow and bringing no bloom to her cheek. As she tossed her head back and raised her eyes, her smile spread from cheek to cheek knowing she had saved the only person that meant everything to her. The wind took hold of her clothes, and flicked it about her making it crack like a silken sail. It took fronds of her hair too, and made them into lashes that beat her face and blew above her head. Then whoosh... it was then gone, all of it. The dark side powers, the future where she'd come from. She was now in the preset, and not the past. With the timeline altered, the Züncålazin snapped out of her trance as if nothing beyond the point of time she was in had ever occurred.

As the security teams swamped over to, and arrested the incapacitated Terron Hesh, Kixi immediately ran over to Mako. She wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, gently rubbing her arm. Despite the heaviness in her stomach, it fluttered at the feeling of her body pressed against hers. She sunk into the warmth of her side, appreciative of the simple gesture – especially after such an unfortunate ordeal.

In her embrace, Kixi imagined herself with her girlfriend alone on a beautiful isolated planet, with the world stopped still on its axis. There was no time, no wind, no rain. Kixi's mind was at peace. Mako's love was how it always had been. Pure. Unselfish. Undemanding. Free. She felt her body press in, soft and warm. This was the love she'd remembered, and prayed she'd experience again. She inwardly thanked the Force and hugged all the tighter. A love like this was to be cherished for life and for all eternity. Finally, Kixi was home with her beloved Mako, her sunshine, her everything, her wanting to exist, and desire to live.

And that was that. The Genghis virus was never unleashed on the many innocents, genocide never committed at the hand of Kixi Rajki, the war was indeed over, and most importantly of all, Mako, Kixi's love and destiny had survived unharmed.

 

Time is not like a river that flows sure in one direction...

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