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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19. Epilogue

 

As Vinskk struck his blow of death at the young helpless female Züncålazin prey, suddenly a white bright light flashed before him. He like everyone else in the vicinity had just witnessed everything, and then, one moment he was in a Sith holding cell, and the next onboard his ship, the Broken Talon. The memory of the hated Kixi Rajki, had become nothing more than a faded residual distant memory – if it had ever even existed.

*****

The whiteness that had briefly enveloped Darth Zahl's mind, abruptly vanished along with the visions of the events at Kustetiera that had blanketed his, and the mind's perception of the many others who had been present. One moment he had been transported to an unknown realm where time lay frozen, and the next he was back where he had stood. Yet for the powerful Sith Lord, not all had been rewritten. He remembered something, something that he would ensue would never fade in the lost realms of time – how very intriguing he contemplated to himself.

Lost memories not truly forgotten. These would be the soul torturer of the young woman, who had miraculously pulled off an extraordinary feet to not only escape her doom from the clutches of the Sith by altering destiny through time travel, but also saving the love of her life.

She could try, but never could she escape them, or hide from them. Forget them yes, temporarily, but the memories would become the worst kind of monster. She would be scared of what her original future had held, all the memories that for now seemed to have escaped her, but in essence never will. In time she would, but until then, they would be pin point needles piercing her skin. She wouldn't be able to scream or fight back, she would just have to endure the pain, as the images of her future-past flash through her mind from time to time.

Hiding, running from, or fighting them would be futile. Her memories would indeed become her worst enemy...and Darth Zahl was quite confident with absolute certainty, that he would once again meet up with her... the extra-galactic woman... it took him a few minutes to register the name... Kixi Rajki, which without failure ghostly echoed in his mind... in the far distant future – the now to be altered future. For now however, the record of her cheating death, for both her and her beloved companion, and the awareness of their very known existence vanished into oblivion, dwindling away like a dying wind of the night.

 

*****

“Hey," Mako greeted Kixi, and pushed a strand of her long black hair behind her ear nervously. She had trouble looking into her girlfriend's eyes, and hoped she didn't look like a drooling fangirl right now. Seeing herself alive, well and in one piece was hard and confusing as hell. "May I come in?”

As if someone had slapped Kixi, she awoke from her trance and nodded sure. Stepping aside, Kixi let her pass and beckoned for her to sit down on her bed that in fact was the same bed she shared with her girlfriend.

The two took each other's hands and stared each other in the eye, before bringing themselves closer in together. The heart is amazing, a symbol of love that beats within every person. It is there, love, life, a simple heart, a pure soul.

Neither spoke, but felt each other's heartbeats against their warm bodies – love. For just a glimpse of a moment, weird memories, strange feelings of them together, before the timeline had changed, rushed back and flooded their minds. They closed their eyes for a moment – and soon the bizarre sensations, the images of pain and suffering faded, as if they had been nothing more than nightmares. The connection to the minds of the many who had stood witness of a future timeline now all but a hazy distant memory, that felt more like a dream than having being reality, had been long severed. With them being nothing more than a dream now, the residual memories would eventually fade from their own memories – almost all of it. The path of healing would still need much time. Kixi had wanted nothing more but to have her beloved Mako back the way she had originally been. To see her smile. To smell her scent... to feel her love, and now she had gotten it all back.

 

*****

When Valeska Rajki entered the secret underground vault of Lord Xiz'Jhan's off the record of actual existence inquisitional courtroom, she looked terribly out of place. Despite its well concealed location, hundreds of metres underground and having to pass a series of complex labyrinths to get to it, the inquisitional courtroom resembled that of the average courtroom.

The courtroom was a magnificent chamber with marble floors, fitted stainless steel furniture with exposed light woods, plastic with clean lines and an absence of any ornate details. Ten rows of benches flanked the corridor leading to the grand judge's stand, and flanking that was the juror's box and the witness stand. Much like any courtroom, although here, ironically, both the juror's box and witness stands were generally empty, replaced with members of the condescending and many a time malicious Sunrider Secret Service, who kept their proceedings cold and detached. Beyond the notion of appearance, Lord Xiz'Jhan's inquisitional courtroom, had nothing in common in respective to the proceedings that took place within the many others that permeated within the volatile Sajnen Confederate. The reality of what actually took place within its occult doors, was a totally different state of affairs altogether.

The people Lord Xix'Jhan condemned to death on this ground, were never accounted for, were many a time unjust, with records of such ferocious and barbaric treatments made to never prevail from the archives of history, and immediately vanish into oblivion. In most cases the victims were non humans – almost always, with punishments being swift and brutal, with the concept of mercy being virtually non existent.

Valeska took her seat at the front, banged her gavel twice although the room fell into a silence when she entered, and smiled broadly at, what was Lord Xiz'Jhan's full inquisitional courtroom – today her courtroom, as the dark lord had bestowed her with the power to take swift and unrelenting action to the particular individual on trial. Her smile soon faded as her eyes grazed those of Tanya Wookey, the first cousin of Mako Jhasmin Zaneca, girlfriend to her despicable, and in both the eyes of Lord Xiz'Jhan and herself, her traitorous niece Kixi Rajki.

The relationship between Valeska and Kixi, as the name would come to suggest was blood related. In this instance, Valeska was the much younger sister to Kixi's father, Hajkon Rajki of House Rajki. Despite the fact in Valeska being the aunt of Kixi Rajki, only a decade separated the two in age. Not withstanding the circumstances in actually being a lot younger than her brother Hajkon, Valeska had always been envious of her older brother. Her long term plans for the future were without a question of a doubt ambitious, and sinister. Unknowingly and oblivious to Hajkon himself, Valeska in essence was a traitor to their family, being a secret spy against Hajkon, and would take her place as Lord Xiz'Jhan's right hand once his eventual conquest of the Sajnen Confederate was complete, and the current feeble government based on democracy dissolved in favour of his absolute rule.

The relationship between niece and aunt, from the perspective of Kixi's teenage years, had been one of abuse and molestation. Scrupulous in what she was doing, Valeska had come to learn of Kixi's same sex preferences from when her niece was as young as 14 years of age. In being her brother's eldest daughter, secretly Valeska had resented Kixi. Although unknowingly to her father, who had entrusted his daughter to his younger sister's hand after the tragic loss of his wife, or Kixi's mother at a very young age, Valeska had had other spiteful ideas for her pitiful little niece.

In allowing Kixi to understand who she was, the then 24 year old Valeska had allowed Kixi – on many occasions, to engage in erotic sexual activities with her. Activities included, but we're not limited to, having her vulnerable younger niece lick and kiss parts of her anatomy, testing out her likeningness towards the same sex so to speak. The unfortunate matter remained that Kixi had on every occasion experienced a sense of excitement, had been aroused sexually, and had developed a constant desire for wanting it more. Understanding that she indeed was a lesbian, but being too young to seek an appropriate partner, she was restricted in carrying out such behaviour with her young aunt – not knowing any better, and all in tight secrecy behind her father's back.

"Would the defendant please rise," Valeska said with a bounce in her tone, as she rapped her fingers impatiently upon the shiny grey of her stand.

Tanya Wookey shakily rose to her feet, her wrists and ankles shackled together with iron manacles. Her brunette hair, normally unruly and short, was matted greasily to her face. She refused to make eye contact with anyone in the room.

All-in-all, Tanya had been betrayed horribly. Her trial, if it could even be called one, had been a farce – which was to be expected, considering that those who were the actual criminals, were the very ones in power influencing the outcome.

Tanya was innocent without a doubt. In fact, despite being close to her cousin Mako, the two had very little association, choosing to go about their own lives. However it only needed to be noted on those rare occasions of when the two cousins did find time for each other, that they were indeed close in some way. Terron's Hesh failure at the hands of his now former first prime had enraged the dark lord dearly. In retaliation to him being defied, he would execute Kixi's girlfriend's cousin – to serve as nothing more than an example. Yet she had committed no crime, let alone anything noteworthy of even being given a death penalty, but such was the injustice of Lord Xiz'Jhan's inquisitional court.

As Valeska stood, she glanced over at Tanya's face, smouldering underneath her stony expression. Fires of fury and hatred were smouldering in the small narrowed eyes, as she weighed the pros and cons of the various and creative means available to her for exacting revenge over her niece's defiance.

Anger boiled deep in Valeska's system, as hot as lava. It churned within, hungry for destruction, and she know it would be too much for her to handle. The pressure of her raging sea of anger, would force her to express thoughts over the matter. Valeska slowly emerged from her angered state. Having the anger dissipate in her made her feel calmer, yet it would not change her hash condemnation over the innocent girl that stood chained and shackled before her.

"Guards remove the chains off the accused please." Valeska barked the order which was immediately fulfilled by the inquisitional guards.

Yet any hope Tanya had of being let free, faded as quickly as it had come.

"The penalty is death with the punishment to be carried out immediately." The harsh tone in Valeska's voice sent a sickening vomiting feeling in Tanya's stomach.

"Kes En'jusek, you may proceed immediately with her execution... Her brutal execution." Valeska mocked grimily as she passed down the order.

Before Tanya could even brace herself, Kes came up behind her and shoved her into one of the several wide marble pillars that dominated the large underground courtroom. Tanya's face connected with the pillar, as she lost her balance and fell painfully to the ground. This time it was the side of her head that would get the worst of it as she landed on the cold marble flooring. She was momentarily stunned, but that was all that Kes her attacker needed to overpower her. With several blows to the midsection, all the breath was beaten out of Tanya. Two hands wrapped around her throat meant that any hope of new air was dashed.

Tanya instantly tried to phase, but all she got was a shock wave of pain through out her body as her starving lungs failed her. She tried to move her hands, to push the assassin Kes En'jusek off her, but Kes had straddled her, pinning Tanya's arms under her knees and her waist under her midsection.

'Can't…breath…can't…crush…air...breath…can't…' Tanya's air starving mind screamed.

"What's the matter Outer World scumbag? Feeling just a bit helpless?" Teased the woman on top of Tanya. Kes was an attractive woman, with no evident scarring on her neck and facial features. In fact her stunning looks and her sense of elegant dress attire, were fooling enough, having her pass for a gentle looking business woman in terms of appearance, rather than the ruthless, unremorseful cold deadly assassin, that lay masked behind her pleasing beauty.

'Air…going…dark…can't…nothing,' Tanya struggled, trying to get the assassin off her.

"Oh, no, no, no, don't struggle…Ssh, Ssh, Ssh, calm down, hush. You like this, I know you do…" Kes said as she leaned into Tanya, her face only inches from Tanya's now. Kes' hot breath masked Tanya, causing her stomach to lurch and her throat to tighten.

'Air…'

"Do you know how long it takes to strangle someone Outer World girl?" Kes asked as she looked hungrily over Tanya. Her grip loosened just a tad over Tanya's throat and a trickle of air made it's way to Tanya's starved lungs.

'Loosen…little…breath just…little…have air…need more…' But it wasn't enough, the need was to great. Tanya started to fade as the assassin continued to speak.

“They say it takes about four minutes, but you know what? I think it all depends on how you do it. You see, with you…are you listening?”

'Air…more…please…bursting…lungs...' Tanya was losing it. She could feel the darkness taking her.

“Hmmm…Oh, I see, here breathe some more, we've got time," Tanya was brought back to her senses with a brief rush of air that was once again soon cut off. "You see, I want to play. I hunt down freaks like your cousin and her lover, but at the moment they're out of reach. So you're been taken as a result, and to be used as an example of what happens when someone messes with Lord Xiz'Jhan. Personally though, I get my thrills at killing someone slowly, up front and close, and using my own hands, while I stare into their helpless dying eyes. To me it's like playing…just like we are doing now…you and me…your soft skin, my soft hands…my living body…your soon to be dead body freak.”

“Freak…" Tanya repeated the name that had tainted her for so long. "I'm not the freak…”

"I like your smooth young body…all this time, you've seen me before, and I've watched you. You've seen me before with your cousin's lover, that stupid and naive Kixi Rajki. I'm her personal assassin... Yes do take note that that comment was made in the present tense. The moron likes me as a friend, thinks we're friends, and is too stupid to realise that I'd like nothing better than to beat both her and your dumb peace loving cousin to a slow and brutal death." Kes continued as she leaned in closer to Tanya, her mouth only inches away from her neck.

"Bursting…let…go…please…ai…rrr…" Tanya was begging, screaming. She wanted so badly to kick, scream, punch, and spit, anything to get this woman off her. But she was helpless.

“Your cousin Mako should've been dead by now. Would have liberated Kixi from her burden. So much potential Kixi had. When we met, she was an evil little fuck – just like me, and then that peace loving freak of a cousin of yours not only fucking changed her, but unbelievably courted her too – fucking incredible as I can't see what she could possibly see in that freak pet of hers." Tanya's face must have shown surprise because the assassin laughed and said, "What? You thought Lord Xiz'Jhan wouldn't notice change in his supposedly trusted First Prime? You're stupid you Outer World cur." The woman looked at Tanya again, a frightening smile creeping onto her face. "But you look good…and given Lord Xiz'Jhan now has new sinister plans for that pathetic duo... that meaning that I now have been ordered to defer their eventual slayings," she leaned in closer, engulfing Tanya's lips, her tongue rapping Tanya's mouth. "Mmmmm…you taste good too...”

"N…o…do…on't…ple…ase…ai…r…" Tanya felt her stomach retch, as the woman pressed into her and forced her tongue back into her mouth.

One hand loosened it's hold on Tanya's throat, though one hand was more then enough. The free hand slid down Tanya's length until it reached her pants. Expertly it found it's way inside, but no farther than Tanya's groin. Kes broke off the kiss, moving her lips to a free spot on Tanya's neck. "Feel good too…just keeps getting better with you…."

"Do…on't…stop…off…me…" Tanya started to panic as the realisation of just how helpless she was sunk in.

"Being a part of Kixi's crew, I've been watching you all. Studying you, I know what makes you a freak, and what makes you weak. You're power only works if you can breathe…which I've taken care of…" she tightened her grip to reinforce her point.

'Can…t…more…try…can't…got…to…phase…try…' Tanya told herself, desperately trying again. All she got was failure and pain.

“Oh, no, can't do that…”

'Ugh…tight…breath…bursting…lungs…'

"It's been three minutes you cur, three and ten seconds, eleven, twelve…how long do you think you can last? What do you think your threshold is? It must be a killer knowing that all you have to do is phase and you can't…." her hand tightened and again her tongue touched Tanya's neck, and her hand started to work lower.

'Ai…please…ai…air…

“Hell's making room for you…" she sneered and bit into Tanya's flesh. After she drew blood, she pulled up and continued, "Hell's making room for you freak, can you feel it?”

Tanya's strength was fading fast. She couldn't fight anymore, her air starved brain started to shut down.

"Can you cur?" Kes bit Tanya again, her lips this time.

Tanya's eyes fluttered close. "It's calling for you freak, it's ready for you." Kes said teasing.

Tanya's mind shut off. "Go to it freak…." Kes continued leering.

There were no thoughts registering in Tanya's mind. No more rebellious movements. There was nothing from Tanya.

“Go," Kes gave her one final kiss and squeezed Tanya's throat one last time, before she leaned back, sitting herself on Tanya's legs. She ran her hands along Tanya's inner thighs and groin, heading for her belt. "Such a waste girl. You could have been a fun toy," she said as she started to undo Tanya's belt. "Guess you can still be if your warm….”

“Enough of this Kes En'jusek!" The loud authoritative voice of Valeska Rajki suddenly brought the assassin back to reality. "You're dealing on torturing the victim has been most entertaining, the inquisition thanks you dearly for your services. However the court now kindly asks you to ensure that Tanya Wookey, first cousin of Mako Jhasmin Zaneca is no longer one amongst the living. Valeska then rose from her seat and kindly extended an arm gesture towards the stunningly attractive assassin. "If you may, it will be greatly appreciated. We will also make the body available to you immediately afterwards while it is still warm, so you may indulge in your sexual desires.”

Kes instinctively lifted one of Tanya's wrists, allowing her now limp hand to dangle as she felt for a pulse.

"You're honour, she has a faint pulse, however she is barely breathing. If I leave her like this, she will die slowly and painfully.

"I understand your yearn to watch her suffer, trust me when I say it, we all appreciate your merciless methods Kes En'jusek. However we are out of time, and would like to dispose of her body and pass down Lord Xiz'Jhan's next set of vital instructions to you.

Kes simply nodded and responded, "I will end her life immediately," not giving away anything towards her total disappointment regarding the matter over how she should have finished off her very unfortunate victim. "And no, don't worry about making the body available for me later. If it's not warm, it's useless, thus you may immediately dispose of it as you wish."

"Yes Kes we will, after you've finished permanently silencing her already." Valeska said derisively.

Still sitting on Tanya's legs, Kes bent her elbow, and took careful aim with the hard bony tip of her own elbow, or the olecranon. She then leaned forward and smacked her across the throat with all her might. Immediately crushing her larynx in the one swift single movement. Tanya's body twitched for several seconds as she helplessly gargled the last bits of air that she had managed to breath in earlier.

Kes smirked as she noticed a slight trickle of blood dribbling from a corner of her mouth. Kes once again placed both hands to grasp at Tanya's throat, to ensure once and for all that she would be left without air. Tanya's eyes were wide with fear and small ragged gasps were painfully escaping her throat. She could sense herself drifting away from her body, death was near.

Still maintaining the grasp on her throat, Kes again leaned forward to whisper the last words that Tanya would ever hear into her ear. "Your cousin Jhasmin, will in time receive the same treatment as you at my hand to join you in the afterlife. I yearn for the day that I slowly get to drain her very life away from her – her, along with raping her pitiful lover, but for today, killing you has satisfied my wanting desires and fantasies.

Then, for just a glimmer of a moment, reality came back to Tanya, the first thing she could think of, was to claw her fingers at Kes' hands, uselessly, and she used her last breath to futilely scream. She then ceased to breath completely, with the twitching of her body following suit soon after. Her eyes were wide open, but unfocused. Tanya was no more.

"Oh watching you struggle in your last moments was so satisfying indeed." Kes whispered as she lowered her head and in a sickening gesture, kissed her victim's forehead, before casting her hand down her face to close her eyes. She stood back up, calm and composed as if nothing had happened. She looked up at Valeska, the judge, juror and executioner. "The moment I took her life, I loved it." Kes commented grimily while blinking, then finally chuckling to herself.

Valeska though, frowned at the assassin's apparent lack of ethic, not at all impressed at her total amusement over having slain the young girl, as she got up from her chair. "I appreciate your services Kes En'jusek, however there is absolutely nothing of amusement to be found here."

Not taking a second glance at the assassin, she then stepped down from her stand and turned to the dead body that was laying sprawled. She walked over to the other guards "Take her to where she belongs, in the laboratory, and have her corpse dissolved in acid."

"Yes Inquisitor." They said, as they scooped the dead girl and dragged her away.

Returning to her stand, Valeska banged her gavel several times. The room fell silent once more with all the attention back on her. "That girl got what she was asking for. Traitors to the soon to become Emperor Xiz'Jhan, who will rule with an iron fist, will feel his wrath and be given absolutely no mercy. Let today serve as the perfect example. This court is now adjourned. I'm almost certain there will be other similar cases to follow." Valeska concluded, and at the same time nodded to Kes approvingly.

 

*****

Valeska Rajki and Kes En'jusek stepped out of the long, cylindrical lift into what was Lord Xiz'Jhan's throne room. Two royal guards stood either side of the door, black robes from neck to toe, black helmets covering all but eyeslits that were actually electrically modified view screens. Their weapons were always drawn.

The room was dim except for the light cables running either side of the lift shaft, carrying power and information through the dark lord's palace. The two women walked across the sleek black steel floor, and up the short flight of steps to the platform level upon which sat Lord Xiz'Jhan's throne. At the end of the overhanging platform was a wall, in the wall, a huge, circular observation window. Sitting in an elaborate control chair before the window, staring out into the far distance outside, was Lord Xiz'Jhan.

Lord Xiz'Jhan sat, regarding the view, as both Valeska and Kes approached from behind. Both kneeled and waited. The dark lord let them wait. He perused the vista before him with a sense of soon to be glory. Beyond all reckoning, the territories of the Sajnen Confederate would be all his. And more glorious still, he would conquer it all by his own hand. The 12 primary worlds that made up the Sajnen Confederate, involved much bureaucracy, and over too many years, corruption had set in. A few greedy senators had started the chain reaction of malaise, with the other powerful houses, notably that of Hajkon Rajki, were weak and feeble in his eyes, and above all had to be eliminated by him seizing the moment. Through fraud, clever promises, and astute political manoeuvring, and then through subterfuge, bribery and terror, he would conquer all. But it would not be enough...

Behind him, he sensed his two most trusted people still waiting in genuflection. How long had they been there he wondered. Five minutes? Ten? Lord Xiz'Jhan was uncertain, however if did not matter. He had not quite finished his meditation. Neither woman minded waiting, for it was an honour, and a noble activity, to kneel at their ruler's feet. Finally the chair slowly rotated, until Lord Xiz'Jhan faced Valeska and Kes.

Valeska spoke first. "What is thy bidding, my master?"

The dark lord turned his head slightly to face the assassin woman, but still kept a firm gaze over the slightly older brunette, who would soon be his entrusted right hand.

"You may both rise," he said in a low deep voice.

"The conquering of this volatile Sajnen Confederate is only my short term goal." The dark lord began his speech as both women rose to their feet.

"Kes, you are to play a pivotal role in my forces eventual invasion of that Galaxy far, far away." He then immediately got down to the point.

"You will be Kixi's friend, just like the naive foolish woman currently believes to be the case now." He said smiling deviously.

"As the galaxy in question is extremely far away, you will use the Alteran long range communication stones to report back on all of the New Republic's intelligence which you will gather over time... You do understand, that this will take years?" The dark lord then paused momentarily awaiting Kes' nod that she indeed did understand.

“At the same time you will oversee the secret stowing of the re-born Kajtia Xiz'injhürek clone aboard her ship, the MXS Morihei Ueshiba. She will remain asleep in one of the stasis pods. Upon your arrival in the Galaxy, you will release her where she will serve the Imperial sect known as the One Sith, the political rival and enemy to the New Republic. She in turn will gather intelligence on them, pass it to you, in which you'll them pass to me.”

The dark lord then smiled, as pure evil immersed his entire body. "I take it that you understand that the original Kajtia had strong feelings for Kixi. If the clone shows any sympathy towards her, once she has served her purpose... Kill her!" Kes again nodded her approval before Xiz'Jhan finally finished.

"I understand deeply that you serving Kixi Rajki and her pathetic cur Mako, will cause you much pain and a strong desire to kill them. However you must endure this, as the information Kixi will inadvertently gather for us, will be vital to our eventual invasion and victory. Once I deem her no longer of use, I will give you the order to kill her, along with her wretched slime Mako." The dark lord hissed his words of hatred.

"Yes my lord," Kes bowed. "I understand it will take years, but for what we will eventually achieve, it will have been worth it. Once she is of no use, I will personally slay them both with my blade, and these hands that will strangle them both. I strongly yearn for the day to come, and the longer I have to wait, the more satisfying it will be." Kes replied impenitently.

“Very good my young assassin, very good. I have full trust in your abilities to deliver me what I need, and deliver both that Rajki whore, and her lap dog the slow and brutal deaths they both deserve.”

Acknowledging the dark lord, both Kes and Valeska turned and exited, as Lord Xiz'Jhan turned back to the panorama beyond the window.

Upon entering the lift to exit the throne area, Valeska's foul facial expression very much summed up the vile words that would immediately follow. "Your heartless style in slaying brutality is greatly appreciated Kes. When the day of reckoning arrives, ensure my little niece Kixi Rajki is raped and made to suffer a slow and painful death. Record it so I can take pleasure in watching it afterwards, and if possible, hand me both her head and that of her lover on a platter."

Kes took note of the hatred that filled Valeska's eyes, as she regarded her older brother's daughter disdainfully.

"Consider it done and with pleasure." Kes responded with none other then a derisive grin on her face.

 

*****

 

Several months later...

 

Jhes and Zasalamel entered the starship’s bridge, calling out to their captain. Kixi immediately snapped to their attention.

"Something wrong?" Kixi asked roguishly.

Jhes despite being the third in command was actually the ship's head of intelligence officer. Zasalamel on the other hand, a huge dark bald headed man of well over six feet in height, was Kixi’s own advisor, mentor and bodyguard – not that she really needed one being an adapt Züncålazin already.

“Something’s come up Captain, and it’s quite important. You’ll need to hear it out”. Jhes immediately responded and then remained tight-lipped.

Kixi could already sense by the mood of both her intelligence officer and mentor, that whatever it was that they had to urgently tell her would not be good. Frowning she motioned for them both to follow her off the bridge, and to her private quarters on the lower decks.

"I suggest you bring Commander Zaneca with us to Captain. Most of this concerns her." Zasalamel's said in a heavy but toneless voice.

Just as Kixi entered the lift to the bridge's exit, she kinked her head to look behind her and gazed Mako in the eye, who no doubt had a worrisome look across her face. Kixi produced a beckoning sign for Mako to follow them into the lift which the commander promptly did. From that point, and the few minutes that it took to get from the bridge to the captain's quarters, which consequently were also Mako's quarters, an awkward silence filled the air as no one spoke a word.

Upon arrival at the captain's quarters, Kes En'jusek awaited patiently at the entrance, and much to the dismay of Mako who glowered at her. It was common knowledge that Kixi's first officer and personal assassin didn't get along with one another. In fact Kes couldn't stand Mako at all, seeing her as nothing more than a weak useless individual that was only in her position because of her captain's zealous obsession with her. Kes of course was in no way intimated by Mako's feelings as she momentarily glazed back at her expressionlessly. If Kes could have gotten away with it, she wouldn't have given it a second thought to kill Mako from where she stood, rather than have to wait as per Lord Xiz'Jhan's orders – and possibly years to rid her from existence.

“Okay so what is it then?" Kixi asked once all five had entered into the quarters. "It's obviously important so please don't stall and cut straight to the chase."

Jhes then nodded to Zasalamel and signalled for him to go first.

“We have two important things to discuss, I’ll start with the first, and then Kes will talk about the other matter." Kixi stared attentively at Zasalamel. What he was about to say would totally shock her, as Kixi raised an eyebrow in anticipation.

“Terron Hesh has been released from custody, he is a free man”. Zasalamel said wasting no time getting to the point.

“What!” Kixi said totally shocked in dismay.

“Lord Xiz”Jhan has released him." Zasalamel continued.

“Why in the name of the Force would he do that!” Kixi said perplexed over the matter.

“If you allow me to finish Kixi, it is because we now believe with 100% certainty, that it was him who ordered, or more accurately said, paid Hesh to try and kill Mako. I personally have been looking into this for a while now, and only now do I have enough evidence to be certain of it. The attempt on Mako’s life at Kustetiera by Hesh, Lord Xiz’Jhan has been behind it all”.

“But why? Why would he want to eradicate her? I’m confused, it doesn’t make any sense to me”. Kixi said totally dumbfounded.

“Because you are clearly in love with her. He can see just like the rest of us that you are courting her”. Zasalamel said devoid of emotion.

“And what’s wrong with that”. Kixi counted still confused, putting a warm arm around Mako who began to quiver upon hearing the news.

“What is wrong is that you are his first prime and he doesn’t like her. He doesn’t see her fit for you, nor suitable and believes you can do better. Now since you would never break it off with Mako on your own, because rightfully you shouldn’t since you deeply love her, Lord Xiz'Jhan took it upon himself to eradicate this problem in the only other way he knew how." Zasalamel said summing up the situation.

"I strongly suggest we leave this galaxy Captain. He will only attempt it again, and with the inevitability that you'll fight for Mako to the very end, he'll only turn against you too... and more than likely us." Jhes added in sombrely.

"And there's more Captain." Kes decided that now would be the time to inform her of what she had to say.

"Which is?" Kixi said as everyone turned to face the assassin woman.

"Out of rage, and the sheer fact that somehow Mako escaped death at the clutches of Terron Hesh... Xiz'Jhan ordered the swift and brutal execution of Mako's first cousin Tanya Wookey, for absolutely no reason." Kes' eyes momentarily lost their sparkle, as if she were somewhere else, seeming like something else – cold. She didn't blink, and her eyes appeared to dilate as she stared off into space. Yet no one in the room had the faintest idea that Kes had proudly carried out the execution... and no one would ever know.

Upon hearing the words of her cousin's unjust slaying, as Mako cried, there was a rawness to it, like the pain was still an open wound. She clasped onto something for support, the back of a chair that was a part of the furniture of the quarters she shared, and then her whole body shook. The sobs were stifled at first as she attempted to hide her grief in front of everyone. Then however, overcome by the wave of her own emotions, she broke down entirely, all her defences washed away in her salty tears. When she at last turned her face to Kixi, she was a picture of grief, loss, devastation. It was the face of one who had suffered before, and didn't know if she could do it again. She took a hold of her girlfriend, digging her head into her chest, and sobbed unceasingly, her hands clutching at her long sleeved shirt. Kixi held her in silence, rocking her slowly as her tears soaked her chest. A tiny lapse let her pull away, blinking lashes heavy with tears, before she collapsed again, her howls of misery worsening. The pain must have come in waves, minutes of sobbing broken apart by short pauses for recovering breaths, before hurling her back into the outstretched arms of her grief.

"I am so sorry for your tragic loss Mako," immediately came the words of commiseration from Jhes, then followed by Zasalamel, and then finally Kes, who although gave away no signs of her treachery, deep down was experiencing a feeling of schadenfreude.

Kixi thanked her crew members for the informative news, and gestured for them to all leave, as the best thing that she could do now, in such unfortunate circumstances, was remain alone with Mako and give her the only thing she could do... her love and support.

As the other's retrieved, Kixi, still embraced with her despairing girlfriend, slowly brushed at her hair and whispered her loving words of warmth to her.

“May the memories held deep within your heart, help to soothe you. You're in my prayers my sweet love... Always. With deepest sympathy, my deepest sympathy goes out to you and all members of your family. Your struggle through this grief and sadness, is also my struggle as you and I are immediate family through my courtship to you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers my sweet love.”

As Kixi spoke her gentle loving words of love and wisdom, Mako's howling and tears began to dwindle away, even though the agony from within her would never. All that could be done, was to soothe the pain with love and support. Kixi continued to gently hug her and comfort her.

“You're on my mind and in my heart today and always. Today with heartfelt condolences, as you comprehend this profound loss. It's okay to cry my sweet love. Let yourself cry knowing each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens. With my deepest condolences, life brings tears, smiles, and memories. The tears dry, the smile fades, but the memories live on forever. I understand, that there are no words to ease your pain, but remember that your cousin has now moved on to the afterlife, to the Elysian Fields, where she is now at peace. One day when your time comes, you'll once again be reunited in each other's loving arms. May my words of comfort rest gently upon your heart my sweet little love, and in time may they become words of healing. All my love is yours truly and forever. I love you Mako.”

Then the steady stream of liquid began trickling down Kixi's face, as she began sniffling with her nose knowing she could no longer hold back the tears. From there, she tried to hold back the seething torrent of tears, but it was futile. Once that first tear broke free, the rest followed in an unbroken stream. All they could really do was to embrace one another and let the torrent of each other's tears soak through their shirts. Kixi could feel Mako clench her fists, not knowing whether to be mad or to calm down. Kixi could hear Mako silently screaming, suffocating with each breath she took. Kixi continued to run her fingers through Mako's hair, time and time again, in an attempt to calm the silent war that now raged within her mind.

The war had only just began, and ran deeper than both Kixi and Mako could ever possibly imagine...

 

*****

That night Lord Xiz'Jhan stood alone on a balcony overlooking the city, a shadowy figure amid the multitude of twinkling lights, his visage dark and angry as he contemplated the desertion of his first prime. So much potential, much time, training and investment had gone into the preparation of Kixi Rajki. Yet she had been weak. Despite all of her achievements, her conquests, her compassion and love for one insignificant being had in his eyes been her downfall. However it wasn't all bad luck, for unwittingly to Kixi's knowledge, he would still use her to fulfil his eventual ultimate conquest of glory in that far away Galaxy, that Kixi and her crew were fleeing to. All thanks to an ally amongst Kixi's crew, one that he trusted in, and one that was credibly but falsely loyal to the naive Kixi Rajki.

His brow furrowed. It would be necessary to replace his first prime... And he knew just the person from the same wretched family that would do so. Lord Xiz'Jhan walked to the railing and put his hands on the cool metal. One thing was certain. All responsible, either directly or indirectly in protesting against the rise of his power, and quest for absolute power would be held accountable. Those who opposed him would not be forgotten. All would be made to pay – Mako's cousin already one subject having been made an example of. His eyes glittered. He would bide his time. He would wait for his chance. He would lay the groundwork for what was needed. A smile played across his thin lips. The power of the dark side would give him eventual glory, and his pawns would be in the perfect position to grant him his eventual conquest many years into the distant future. Patience... When overcome, it would do wonders. The day of reckoning would come about all in good time.

*****

 

Many months later...

 

Vinskk blinked, hard. Did he just doze off? He dreamt of something...it was a white room, a sword held in his claws as he killed a woman. He was seated in the cockpit of the Broken Talon as he scratched the back of his head, perplexed. The screams and cries of the slaves below deck soothed him, the familiar sounds lulling him into the present until a name slammed into his head so hard, it made him stand up. 'Kixi.' Hesitant, Vinskk sat back down. He was feeling weird now, almost a sort of deja vu. What was happening to him? This couldn't have just been a dream. Whatever it was, it gave him the shivers. Another name smashed into his mind. 'Coruscant.' The Trandoshan clicked and set a course to Coruscant. He had a sudden urge to see a Gran and a Bothan in the Undercity...

 

*****

Soon after dropping out of hyperspace, at the far edges of the Galaxy, a Sajnen Defiant class starship originating from a very distant galaxy known as Androj'Meden, slowly skimmed past undetected past Vector Prime.

On its bridge stood its captain Kixi Rajki, and first officer Mako Jhasmin Zaneca.

“We have arrived, finally," Mako ecstatically announced. "As per our intel, the galactic capital is Coruscant. Shall we set course Captain?”

Kixi nodded in acknowledgment, but suddenly – a cold shiver ran down her spine, goosebumps without warning appeared all across her body. Spooked, the captain's face turned a pale white as she fell silent.

"Are you okay Kixi?" Mako asked expressing a worrisome look across her face.

Yet Kixi simply remained silent for a good part of a minute, staring out the bridge's viewpoint, her skin a ghostly white, before finally speaking.

"I have new instructions, do not set course for Coruscant. Our records are dated. The Jedi temple is no longer there, nor is the seat of the grand Republic. Coruscant is Sith infested." Kixi said her expression now very wide-eyed.

"How do you know this?" Mako said looking up at her captain quizzically.

"Not sure, it's weird, and hard to explain. It's a weird sensation that I can't explain. It feels like a dream, but at the same time real – like I've been there before – we've been there before for that matter. Only grave danger awaits us on Coruscant." Kixi's eyebrows furrowed, and her lips pressed together as she grimaced.

Kixi then looked down at her hands, which she clenched and unclenched nervously, her face colour deepening from pale white, back to a healthy reddish. After a moment, she looked up again, now very sure of herself. "The Jedi temples are located on both Voss and Lothal. Commander Zaneca, please set course for Voss ."

 

 

Time is like an ocean in a storm...

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