Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal

When I saw her after so long, for the first time in a very long time, I found myself wanting my revenge. I wanted a simple revenge, however my better half wanted something beyond that. In appeasing her demands, it brought out a most unselling part of me, knowing that the person capable of making both my better half and I feel this way, was tied directly to my yearning toward our road to vengeance.

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10. Chapter 4.

Chapter 4.

 

We dropped into a landfall traffic lane and cruised slowly through the maze of buildings, sliding along the magnetic guidance lines for airborne vehicles.

While we moved along in my hovercar, Mako Jhasmin settled quietly into place to my right in the front passenger seat. She glanced over her shoulder, taking a peep at the fascinating view from behind her, a look of excitement crossed her face before she turned away again.

Zed's Performance & Auto Care Centre, like a select few other buildings in the vast sprawl of Celestia City, it stood alone. A colossal structure with multiple towers rising skyward from its larger central tower, it sat apart from everything at the end of a broad promenade linking it with bulkier, sharper edged towers.

Within its broad central tower, Zed's garage was a local repair shop and by far the largest in Celestia City. At its very top it resembled a very large hangar. Inside there were many different types of vehicles both civilian and military, such as hovercars, racing cars, swoops and tanks. This area of the garage was the largest, including a wide open floor facing the entrance to the garage, and where we would be entering in by. Cables hung down from the ceiling to hold light atmospheric jets, small space fighters, as well as light copters in suspension until they were ready to be worked on. Employees did most of their repair work in that area.

Hidden deep within its complex of structures, accessible only by hidden shafts that lead many metres beneath the actual towers, were the former headquarters of the Arjian Resistance Cell. From there the first uprising had emerged, one that gave in to the eventual birth of the Zhann Alliance that conquered the United Systems of Sol from a former tyrannical government, backed by the large system wide Skycom Corporation.

Ironically Skycom was Zed's biggest customer, with both their former directors of security, Cerberus and Kristy Langley commissioning repairs and special vehicles for their armada there. Holding a firm healthy relationship with the owner Jak Zed, little did they know of his deception, and that he was in actual fact, also the mastermind Jarvis behind the Resistance and unknowingly to them, their sworn enemy. The Arjian Resistance of old was shrouded within the heart of the enemy itself.

Although even with the healthy relationship that Zed had with them, it had been known that both directors, mother and her successor child alike, ruthless in every sense, had during Skycom's reign, in person or through their lieutenants, frequently threatened Zed's workers with death, or the participation at the now abolished and forbidden gladiatorial games which were essentially a death penalty. As a result of Cerberus' death and Kristy's eventual defeat now over a decade ago, no one was most certainly not missing the absence of their presence.

I slowed my hovercar, edging my way out of the traffic lane. To my left, I took note of a large platform that floated near the cluster of the huge buildings. Meanwhile Mako peered down through the hovercar's side window noting that we hundreds and hundreds of metres in the air. She tore her gaze away, swallowing hard. She never really liked looking down from huge heights.

The landing dock inside the hangar came into view as we approached a section marked clearly for hovercars. I docked the vehicle inside Zed's hangar like garage, with a soft bump on the landing platform. Several hundred stories up, we disembarked taking in the huge bustle of activity from workers and machinery that ultimately surrounded us.

 

***

 

Kes' memories of her arrival in District A-24 in Celestia City were fixed in the first seconds of her arrival when a spider landed on her nose. It had been floating through the air, held aloft by a gentle breeze and by a tangle of webs that bore some resemblence to a parachute made by Skycom Corporation.

As she stepped off the hover-train at a seemingly deserted station, the breeze blew it onto her face. Many people would have screamed or hurriedly slapped it off their face, however Kes simply blinked and stared at it. The hover-train doors closed and it pulled out and then lifted up from the station. Kes ignored it, focused on the spider. It sat on her cheek and stared at her. She stared back in a contest rigged against her, since her opponent had no eyelids.

Slowly, Kes put down her bag and raised her hand, brushing the spider onto her other hand, then putting it down on the ground. It scampered away, and she smiled a little smile for the first time in days.

"Kind to animals?" A woman's voice asked. Kes blinked and looked up. A woman was staring at her through mirrored sunglasses. She looked like an idol singer, dressed in casual, but sexy clothing, with a figure of the kind that Kes was just now starting to notice.

It wasn't her clothing or her body that drew Kes' attention, nor the fact that she was wearing sunglasses at night, but rather the strange necklace she wore. The chain was made of gold, while the pendant mixed silver and bronze, tracing out a sort of broken five pointed star with a tongue of flame in the middle made of copper. Kes normally wasn't much for abstract art, or any kind of art for that matter, but it caught her attention and wouldn't let it go. Since it was hanging just above the top of her cleavage, the woman drew the wrong conclusions from Kes' stare, but she just smiled.

'Earth to Kes. Come in, Kes.' Kes blinked and looked up. "That's a... what is that?"

"My father found it in Polynesia during one of his expeditions. I like it." Kes nodded. The pendant was oddly comforting. "Yes I like it too. Now fucking give it to me", Kes said out abruptly, her tone deep and unforgiving as she stretched out an arm, her hand palm up and open.

"Um what. No. It's not for sale. Sorry."

"I never said I wanted to buy it. Now. Fuck. Ing. Give. It. To. Me!" Kes snarled; demanding.

“No! Piss off you creep! Gee I should just have minded my own business next time.”

“Yeah well there won't be a next time, and my wanting your necklace and pendant... it was not a request. Give it the fuck to me now!”

"No. Fuck off loser! The woman said turning around and walking away. Yet it would be the last words she'd ever say.

Before she even saw it coming, she was on the ground, unconscious and being dragged. Her flesh scraped across concrete, while Kes' shoes scuffed the hardened ground, not a single protest from the unconscious woman as Kes pulled her by the legs towards a quiet low lit street. She turned her head from right to left, and then right again. Not a single soul was around, save for the surveillance. Yet it didn't bother her one bit. She had killed many and knew all too well that she'd be long gone by the time anyone came. And by the time the authorities went on the manhunt for the former personal assassin of Skysec's Director Langley long since banished from Sol, she'd be long gone off system too.

With her victim's body now laying on the ground, like nothing had happened, Kes took the whole necklace off of her and put it on herself. "Thank you kindly." She whispered in her ear, noticing her victim slowly returning to consciousness and withering in pain from the knock she'd received over the back of her head. "But I like you better when you're unconscious. So allow me to make that permanent."

Kes lifted the other woman up slightly, grabbing her roughly by the shoulder and smiled as she struggled in her grip. Taking her right arm, Kes wrapped it methodically around her throat and began to count. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and... ten," she shouted as she jerked her neck upward. With a sickening crack she knew she had done the deed. The young woman was dead.

"Oh and by the way, I would have killed you even if you had actually given me the necklace and pendant. It was nice knowing you all the same, brief as it was." Kes said as she got herself up fully, spat on the corpse and walked away.

 

***

 

In one of the lower levels of Zed's, where the millennia old wheeled cars were stored at, Ālrai strolled around the garage tapping the socket wrench against his pant leg. He had to stop himself from drooling as he glanced under the bonnet of one of the many cars in the bay. Tanks of nitrous oxide leaned against the far wall, ready to be hooked up to one of the many possible engines. No street racer worth his salt would race without it.

He ran his fingers along the sidewall of a red 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer. Purple and yellow swirls decorated the sides and curled along the bonnet. The Lancer was just an average car for its time, but the engine was anything but. He leaned on his elbows and studied the intake. This particular car was a racer's dream, and his fingers itched to sit behind the wheel and see just how fast he could get her to go.

“I retract my former statement," Zenon Qarr his wife, Jak Zed's current F-Zero race pilot and daughter of one of Jak's right hand generals, Braj'tec Qarr from when he had been Jarvis of the Arjian Resistance, said as she eyed the engine work her husband had done. She wiped her hands on a towel lying over the car and smiled at Ālrai. "Nice work. You're definitely a gun when it comes to knowing your way around these ancient cars.”

Ālrai shrugged one shoulder. "You grew up around F-Zero racers, I grew up around these. Despite these being ancient as you pointed out, your F-Zero hi-tech marvels do share one fundamental aspect in common. That is unlike just about every other thing these days that hovers, F-Zero cars have wheels."

Zenon snickered. "Kixi and Mako just got here. They're on their way down."

“You and Kixi have similar backgrounds. You should get along just fine. Like always, you can swap racing stories.”

Zenon chuckled. "I know what she's like. She's stubborn, adventurous, bores easily, can't sit still for more than a minute at a time, and she's more often than not got a chip on her shoulder. She's also got a smart mouth on her and has what I call a male's sense of humour."

One side of Ālrai's lips lifted. "A male's sense of humour?"

“Yeah, raunchy.”

Ālrai laughed and nodded. "Gotcha."

He always looked forward to seeing me. Although better at piloting a starfighter or the like rather than cars and hovercars, Ālrai and I were very much alike. I was like a female version of himself.

“She's coming down for a brief visit only. She's going to tonight's races at District Versio, and is here with her wife Mako Jhasmin to pick up her GTR.”

“Correction, Mako's GTR. Kixi gave that car to her wife. She's reminded me God only knows how many times." Ālrai snickered and tapped his knuckle against the door of the Lancer. "Anyway, that would be right about her going to the races. I should just come along and then get her out of trouble, that is if she were to run into some.”

Zenon smiled slightly. "Kixi doesn't go where Kixi doesn't want to go. I'm sure she can handle herself at the races, and I doubt there's gonna be any trouble anyway."

“Great," Ālrai drawled. "You do realise she can be handful at times.”

Zenon stiffened and Ālrai immediately tensed up as well, wondering what had caught Zenon's attention as he stared out the bay doors that allowed entrance to the level they were on. Before Ālrai could ask, Zenon leaned down, resting her elbows against the car as she looked into the engine.

"They're here, at the bay doors," Zenon murmured.

Ālrai nodded and glanced over toward my direction and caught my eye. He lifted his right hand and curled his first two fingers, indicating that both Mako and I should join them.

We strolled over, and I walked to the other side of the car, leaning behind the bonnet as they did. "What's up?"

“Well," he said as he stepped back from the Lancer and eyed another car, a black 2009 Pagani Zonda R with yellow striping. "That's an awesome car, but it could do with some work. Wanna upgrade the turbo to stage three.”

"Oh and the piston rings are fried in this Lancer," Zenon interrupted, still resting her elbows on the car in question.

Glancing at the Zonda and then back at Ālrai, I moved closer, but kept my distance. Mako moved up to join me, watching on with interest, as well, crossing her arms over her chest.

"That's an easy fix," Ālrai replied.

Her lips spread into a smile that made Ālrai's chest tighten. "That's what you said when I brought that Supra in here. Took you three weeks to fix it."

Ālrai snorted. "That's because you kept running off. I have help now." He pointed his thumb in toward Mako and I.

Both Mako and I raised an eyebrow simultaneously before we responded in unison. "Not tonight."

Ālrai then turned back at me as I continued speaking winking an eye, "but I'll be happy to assist in between my test driving commitments."

Mako grinned at my comment as she excused herself and walked away toward her Nissan GTR, moving past everybody as though no one were even standing there. Ālrai didn't miss the way I checked my wife out from the corner of my eye and his grin widened. I was always ballsy, he'd give me that.

In the meantime, the toned, deeply tanned arms belonging to Zenon lifted to remove the lock holding the front wheels of the Lancer off the ground, and Ālrai couldn't seem to stop staring at his own wife.

A towel hit Ālrai in the chest, and he caught it before it hit the floor. "You and I are very alike at many different levels," I drawled in good humour. "Chomp, chomp."

"Chomp, chomp?" Ālrai asked with a frown.

"Don't ask," Zenon replied as she rolled her eyes at her husband and then fixed her attention on me.

"Can we run simulator together sometime this week on the Celestia City race track with the latest ZRT F-Zero car. I need to try a few things and need you to be my co-pilot?" Zenon asked her voice loud enough to carry over to Ālrai, who looked at her from under the bonnet of the car he was working on.

“Yeah sure. Anytime." I said, my lips twitching. My gaze moved to Mako for a brief second who was inspecting her GTR before going back to Zenon. "It would be a great pleasure Zenon.”

"Awesome. I could sure do with some tips from an ex System Champion." Thanks Kiks." Zenon smiled while Ālrai laughed softly.

“Hey you better watch it with your comments Zenon, you might cause Kixi's head to suddenly double in size.”

I knew you would say that Ālrai, you're so predictable," I grumbled, gently slapping him on the wrist, giggling in the process myself.

Meanwhile, Mako having already inspected her car, stood beside it and stared in silence, watching patiently before she reached into it and started it up.

The low rumble of the car's powerful race built engine, overrode the music and filled the bay with the pleasant growl of the engine as it sat there idling. Ālrai, Zenon and I straightened, looking out towards her.

"Oh Kixi." Mako called out, her voice ever so sweet as she tilted her head and smiled slightly. Clearly she was making a subtle hint that we best get going.

Zenon looked down at her jeans and tank top. "I need to change. And you Kixi, are keeping your wife waiting."

"Of course. God forbid, ZRT's latest racing queen goes out in anything but a mini and stilettos," Ālrai teased.

"You guys going somewhere fancy?" I said, retracting my jaw as my neck muscles tightened and both my eyes widened.

"Yeah only to dinner, but you know Zenon, she's gorgeous but needs to emphasise the point further." Commented Ālrai causing Zenon's cheeks to blush. She took a step back and bowed her head, letting her hair screen her face.

"Okay then." I said reacting by opening my mouth and gasping. "Well you have both been working pretty hard all afternoon, so enjoy your well earned dinner. I better make a move to then. Chris, Kajtia and Paige have already left and will be meeting us at District Versio.

"Cool. By the way, I know its probably a silly question, but are you racing?" Ālrai asked as he reached out to tighten a loose bolt.

“I sure am.”

“Makes sense," Ālrai replied as he wiped his hands on a towel. "Like you were ever gonna show up and not participate.”

"Nice car that GTR," Zenon commented also wiping her hands on a rag hanging from the wall.

“Yeah," I replied, but in truth I wasn't even looking at the car. My attention was on the woman getting into the front passenger seat. "Damn," I whispered and turned to both Ālrai and Zenon. "Talk later, gotta go.”

“Yes Kixi, you better hurry up, cos if you keep looking at your wife like that, I'm sure she's gonna be tempted to do something stupid like push you into the backseat of the car, and then jump on top of you rather than get going with driving to the races.”

My gaze moved back to Mako's, who seemingly sat patiently in her GTR, watching me with curiosity. This time I felt that same blush Zenon had felt move over my cheeks.

The sound of a bonnet dropping with a loud bang returned my attention to Ālrai and Zenon, in which I kittenishly said my goodbyes to, and turned and walked toward Mako, deliberately letting my hips sway.

I reached the car, where Mako had been waiting in the passenger seat. She appeared small yet beautiful by what in comparison was large and bulky, yet aerodynamically curved. The car seemed like some predatory beast, with what in my eyes was the most beautiful woman in the universe sitting in it.

Turning my head slightly, Ālrai sent me an amused look before waving his hand to acknowledge a goodbye. I opened the door and comfortably slumped myself into the driver's side leather bucket seat. I instantly pressed on the accelerator, revving the engine for good measure. The sound was electrifying. I simply couldn't wait to get it on the open road below.

Of course I sensibly drove the car slowly to one of three vehicular lifts located on the level we were on that serviced the whole building. Ālrai and Zenon watching us leave as we took off on got on the lift. The turntable beneath our car under the lift then rotated our car a full 180 degree, allowing us to face in the direction of Ālrai and Zenon as we waved back just before the lift doors sealed shut.

Immediately upon telling the AI controller to take us to the ground level, the lift designed for a much greater capacity than just the weight of our car, given it also serviced much larger and heavier space, aircraft and equipment, geared its hydraulic chains, and began to lower us towards our gradual descent from the many stories above.

Adrenaline rushed through my veins, flooding my system like it were on an intravenous drip, right into my blood at full pelt. I thought my heart would explode and my eyes were wide, letting in every ounce of the fading light as the lights went dim in the descending lift. My heart continued pumping, my lungs felt like they would burst and my body screamed for more. Every muscle craved relaxation as blood coursed kilometres of veins and I felt a ba-boom, ba-boom as a pulse sounded in my ears. It felt like a glimpse of heaven for a few seconds. I loved it and I hadn't even started driving yet.

As soon as we were on the ground and the lift doors opened, I drove out cautiously around the maze of pillars on the ground floor of what was part of Zed's colossal building, until we reached an exit to a very lonely deserted road. I looked up and sure enough the sky was a bustle of activity and traffic. Knowing that on the actual ground, the situation would tell a contrastingly opposite story to what was happening high above, I smiled devilishly, dropping my foot on the accelerator, and heard the sweet deafening roar of the GTR's engine rip as I began speeding through the ground streets of Celestia City.

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