Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal

619700
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.

Author's note

Professional published eBook version can be found here. Available in ePub, Kindle and PDF. ISBN: 9780463875858. This book is part of Smashwords' "Premium Catalog": the book has been approved to ship to retailers that Smashwords works with.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/948830

The KnM Blade Universe timeline of novels,

Smashwords.com : Kixi Rajki / Professionally published eBooks. These then get distributed to online book stores such as iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, Ficton DB, Livraria Cultura, Barnes & Noble, that's just naming a few. :-)

- KnM Blade: She Jhasmin & I Kixi (Coming in early 2020)
- KnM Blade: Part 1. ISBN: 9780463729267.
- KnM Blade: Part 2. ISBN: 9780463849057.
- KnM Blade: Part 3. (Coming in mid to later half of 2020)
- KnM Blade: I Love You And You Love Me - The Wedding Of Kixi And Mako Jhasmin. ISBN: 9780463160930.
- KnM Blade: Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal. ISBN: 9780463875858
- KnM Blade: Time's Arrow (Delayed. Coming in 2020)

How they appear here on Movellas.com bellow,

- KmM Blade : She Jhasmin & I Kixi, (In Progress - early 2020)
- KnM Blade in Destiny's Way (Main project. Single book will consist of 4 parts. Part 1 and Part 2 compete. Part 3 is in progress - mid to later part of 2020. Smashwords versions will have parts published as separate books).
- KnM Blade : I love you and you love me : The Wedding of Kixi and Mako Jhasmin (Complete)
- KnM Blade : Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal (Complete)
- KnM Blade: Time's Arrow (Delayed. In progress - 2020)

---

KnM Blade Timeline as of 2019/2020

PREQUEL SERIES
3011 - She Jhasmin & I Kixi (Available by early 2020)

MAIN SERIES
3016 - KnM Blade: Part 1 (Published 2019-01-03)
3016 - KnM Blade: Part 2 (Published 2019-01-03)
3016/17 - KnM Blade: Part 3 (Available by mid to later part of 2020)

POST DREX / SKYCOM ERA SERIES
3018 - I Love You And You Love Me. The Wedding of Kixi And Mako Jhasmin (Published 2018-06-15)
3028 - Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal (Published 2019-07-13)

FAR FUTURE SERIES
3039/42 - Time’s Arrow (KnM Blade version. Available by 2020.)

---

Proposed KnM Blade Timeline

PREQUEL SERIES
3010 - Formula Zero Speedster
3011 - She Jhasmin & I Kixi (Available by early 2020)

MAIN SERIES
3016 - KnM Blade: Part 1 (Published 2019-01-03)
3016 - KnM Blade: Part 2 (Published 2019-01-03)
3016/17 - KnM Blade: Part 3 (Available by mid to later part of 2020)
3017/18 - KnM Blade: Part 4

POST DREX / SKYCOM ERA SERIES
3018 - I Love You And You Love Me. The Wedding of Kixi And Mako Jhasmin (Published 2018-06-15)
3022 - Corporation Wars
3028 - Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal (Published 2019-07-13)

FAR FUTURE SERIES
3039/42 - Time’s Arrow (KnM Blade version. Available in 2020)
3044 - Total Recall (KnM Blade version)
3052 - Reunion: Part 1 (KnM Blade version)
3052 - Reunion: Part 2 (KnM Blade version)
AA
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24. Chapter 14.

Chapter 14.

 

Meanwhile at Paige Langley's holodeck in her private residence...

 

The Cerberus, the pride of the current Skycom Corporation fleet, named after perhaps one of Skycom’s greatest. A fallen legend, Emilia Langley, who was known by the same namesake as the vessel in question; What better a ship for its current CEO Kristy Langley to command. Within this unique Super Fortress-Destroyer, was a Skysec prison hold that proved to be everything Paige had imagined it would be. A cavernous vault of concrete and steel, it was filled with catwalks, checkpoints, and identity scanners. The detention cells were arrayed to the right side of a single access tunnel, stacked five high in three long rows. There had to be a thousand units, and the volume of yellow light pouring through the blaster proof glass doors suggested that most were occupied. Locating the cell that a hologram version of myself was being held at was going to be a problem, and Paige did not have time for problems. If she expected to have any chance of successfully fulfilling the goals of this holodeck program, she had to find Kristy Langley before she found her— and Kristy had half the security teams in the Skysec prison already searching for her.

Unrelated were the reasons, yet in her view, they were justified. Mako and Kristy; These the two people that Paige hated most; Wanted dead; And their lives ended by her own bloodied hands. For the purpose of this holodeck scenario that Paige had herself written, the hologram version of Mako Jhasmin Zaneca, was, conveniently programmed to play the role of a traitor and defector for the Skycom Corporation cause. In this story that she was about to play out, Mako was the sole person responsible for my capture and imprisonment.

The clank-clank of boot heels on deck steel echoed up the corridor. A pair of guards rounded a corner about twenty metres ahead, emerging from a short side hall labeled 'Infirmary Checkpoint.' Paige pulled her prisoner— Mako now wearing Paige’s own fighter pilot of the Zhann Alliance flight suit— across to her side, opposite the guards.

“There’s no brave option here, Mako Jhasmin.” Paige spoke in a low voice, addressing my wife by her first and middle names. “If you even meet their eyes, I’ll kill you all, and still do what I came to do. Understand?”

“If I wanted to do something stupid, I would have done it in the processing centre,” Mako replied. “I’d rather live.”

“Good,” Paige said. “I’d rather let you.”

Mako was a couple of centimeters shorter than Paige, and a little smaller, too. So Paige’s flight suit was a tad baggy on her— but only an experienced pilot would notice the poor fit. Mako’s Skysec uniform, on the other hand, was tight on Paige. It was a full size too small, and snug in all the wrong places for a woman trying to avoid attention.

In the scenario being played out, Mako, to prove the legitimacy of her defection, had assisted the Bladestriders, the prime rival of the Züncålazin, in my capture and thereby handing me over to Kristy Langley. Not interested in any way with the aspects of roleplaying a search and rescue mission, nor commanding a Zhann Alliance attack on the Cerberus, Paige had rather preferred to begin the simulation at a point where she had already captured Mako and boarded Kristy's ship, whilst the Alliance ships had already pinned down the very same Cerberus. As a consequence, she would only then have to play out the part fulfilling my rescue, and ultimately enjoying the thrill in finishing off the mission by killing the two people she despised most.

As the guards drew nearer to Paige and her prisoner, the stomach dropping boom of a hull hit reverberated through the ship. The lights flickered and blinked out, then blinked on again, out one more time, and finally returned to normal.

The guards cast a nervous glance at the ceiling, then seemed to shiver off their anxiety and started down the corridor again. It would have been an exaggeration to say that the crew had become inured to the sound of enemy strikes impacting their Super Fortress-Destroyer, but they were certainly growing accustomed to it. There had been a lull in the explosions for about half an hour after Paige boarded, but then the Cerberus had moved forward towards the smaller Zhann Alliance ships that belonged to Gencore Corporation, and begun to take a steady trickle of hits.

When the distance had closed to within a couple of metres, the guards pulled their shoulders back and stopped. 

“Good day, Ma'am,” said the tallest guard, a sandy haired man with a heavy, square jaw. “May we see the prisoner’s cell assignment data card?”

Unlike I, Paige was no Züncålizin. Yet I had developed my abilities in harnessing mind control and telekinesis long before having become one, long before the birth of the Zhann Alliance, and long before the fall of Skycom and the Drex Dynasty in the Sol System. Paige was once my apprentice; I taught her all that I knew at that time; So nonetheless she was a formidable warrior.

“If you must,” Paige said, reinforcing her image as just another imperious Skysec officer. She reached into a thigh pocket and produced the data card she had been given at the processing centre a few minutes before. “Be fast about it. I don’t have much time.”

The guard glanced at the data card, then said, “In that case, you’re lucky you ran into us.” He pointed back down the corridor toward an intersection Paige had just passed. “The women’s block is back there. We’ll escort you.”

“I don’t need an escort. I know where the women’s block is.” Paige used a dismissing wave of her hand to draw the guard’s attention away from the suggestive tone of her voice. “I’m taking the prisoner to the infirmary first.

“She needs to be examined.”

The guard turned to his companion. “The prisoner needs to be examined first,” he said. 

“We’ll escort the officer to the infirmary.”

Paige swallowed her frustration. “I don’t need an escort.” This time, she distracted the pair by pointing at the hall from which the two had emerged. “I can see where the infirmary is.”

The two guards frowned, then the shorter one— he had hair that was one shade lighter than black— said, “She can see where the infirmary is, Jonas.”

Jonas sighed, then passed back the data card. “Thank you, ma’am. Do be careful.” He pointed at a silver dome hanging from the ceiling. “The surveillance system is out.”

“Thanks for the warning.” An idea occurred to Paige, and she added, “So was the prisoner index. Can you tell me what cell the Züncålazin woman is in?”

Both guards frowned, and Jonas asked, “Why would you need to know that?”

“Because…” Paige let her explanation trail off there, trying to make the best of her tight uniform by flashing a coy smile. Playing the flirt had worked pretty well for me when I thought it was necessary, and given I was a role model for Paige in her earlier adult years, she saw no reason that it shouldn’t work for her here. Paige raised her brows. “I hear the Züncålazin woman is worth looking at.”

Jonas shook his head in annoyance. “I don’t think I can help you with that, Ma'am.”

The two guards marched off without awaiting a proper dismissal, leaving Paige to stand there wondering what I had that she didn’t.

“That was smooth,” Mako observed. “You should probably just stick to mind persuasion tricks.”

“I got rid of them, didn’t I?” Paige started forward again, dragging her prisoner across the tunnel toward the infirmary checkpoint in case the guards looked back. “And how do you know that wasn’t a mind persuasion trick?”

“If it was, it needs work,” Mako answered. "Just cos Kixi trained you, doesn't make you a Züncålazin."

“Careful,” Paige warned. “It’s not too late to kill you.”

Mako laughed at the threat, then asked, “Is that really what this is about? Kixi?”

“Of course.” Paige stopped at the entrance to the short corridor leading to the infirmary checkpoint and pretended to be checking Mako's wrist restraints. “You think I would go around breaking into prisons for fun?”

“No, but you keep forgetting that Kixi is my wife," Mako said. “You... are like a bad odour that won't go away, Paige. Back off and get the hint. She married me because she loves me— not you."

"Yeah?" Paige asked. "Last I remember, you double crossed your people— Kixi included, and went working with my fucking bitch of a sister— and, you were the sole person responsible for her capture, and thus why we find ourselves where we are now.”

"You think you're so tough." Mako said. "You know if right now I weren't restrained in your custody?" Mako then asked and when Paige hesitated, Mako added, “There are a lot of ways someone with my talent can hurt you— most of them so bad that you can’t even scream. You seem to have forgotten that I'm also eM Blade."

"I haven't forgotten shit Mako. I might not have a Nanotech Facial Veil implanted in my face like Kixi and you, but I am also Asuka Blade— In case YOU have forgotten."

"I haven't, but I'll have you know that it was never my decision in having had you included in being part of KnM Blade, even if it was only for a brief stint." 

“Fuck you Mako Jhasmin!” Paige slammed her palm against the tunnel wall, drawing a disapproving glower from the guard inside the checkpoint control booth. “I don’t have time for this!”

Mako pointed her chin toward the checkpoint, where the suspicious looking guard sat inside his control booth, and continued studying them through his blaster-proof viewing panel. “In there. Kixi is there and not in an actual prison cell. I hear Kristy is handling her interrogations personally.”

"In there and not in a cell? Why would that be?"

“Uh, because she sustained some minor injuries during her capture,” Mako said, sounding genuinely frightened. “But don't worry, my thumbprint will get us in."

“It had better get us in,” Paige said. She shoved Mako down the corridor toward the infirmary checkpoint. “And her injuries had better be minor.”

At the checkpoint, Paige spun her prisoner around backward and stepped over to the security pad, reaching for the thumb scanner with the same hand that held Mako's arm. With the assistance of a mind persuasion trick and a little sleight of hand, she prevented the guard from seeing whose thumb it was that actually touched the pad, and his suspicions seemed to subside as the scanning booth slid open.

Once they were inside, he activated an intercom and asked, “Authorisation?”

“Don’t have one,” Paige said. “I just need to get her checked for ejection injuries before we interrogate her.”

The guard nodded and initiated the scan— wincing only slightly as the boom of another, smaller hull hit rang through the ship. None of the items in Paige’s equipment belt seemed to trouble him, but he frowned and pointed at the thigh pocket where she had stowed her X Plasma Blade— a weapon she had constructed years ago under my careful supervision whilst under my tuition in Vocheuhiri, Venus.

“What’s that?”

“High power glow rod.” Paige pulled the X Plasma from its pocket and stuck the emitter nozzle against the window in front of his eyes. “Want me to show you?”

“No.” Not wanting to be blinded by the powerful light, the guard quickly looked away and reached for a button on his panel. “Please proceed, Ma'am. You know where the exam rooms are.”

The far door slid open, and Paige led Mako into the prison’s infirmary wing. Like the other side of the main access tunnel, it was a cavernous vault of metal and concrete with five stories of catwalks ascending into the murky heights above. But each level seemed to have its own purpose.

The lowest level, about three metres below the balcony where Paige and Mako had emerged, seemed to be a combination morgue and waste disposal area. A single gunmetal grey, four armed droid with a skeletal frame and green glowing photoreceptors was working in the pit, pulling medical waste off a conveyer belt and feeding it into a white mouthed fusion incinerator. On the wall across from the incinerator was a line of a dozen metre square body drawers, all closed and presumably full, as there were a pair of corpses resting on gurneys along the wall. The main level was lined with examination rooms, while the next story up had too many attendants pushing hover-gurneys along the catwalk to be anything but diagnostics or surgery. Paige led her prisoner over to a lift tube and found two possibilities on the control panel: 'Patient Cells' on level four, and 'Authorised Access Only' on level five.

Paige was still pondering her choices when Mako said, “Patient cells. They don’t allow regular medical staff on the interrogation level, and Kixi needs attention. She won’t be hard to find.”

Detecting no hint of deception from Mako, Paige pressed 'Patient Cells', and they ascended to level four. The catwalk was modestly busy, with a handful of nurses and medical droids bustling in and out of the cells, usually alone but sometimes in the company of an escort carrying a stun baton. At the far end of the catwalk, a pair of Skysec guards stood in front of a closed door holding blaster rifles.

Guessing they would be guarding my cell, Paige started forward, pushing her prisoner ahead of her. They passed several open cells where nurses or droids were stooping over the lowered access panel of a blocky grey containment bed, tending to their patients. A couple of times, they passed guard escorts leaning against doorways, swinging their stun batons and looking bored.

No one gave Paige a second look as she passed with her prisoner— in part because it had been nearly five minutes since a hull hit had boomed through the ship. Either the battle was turning in Kristy's favour, or the Cerberus had become so battered that it wasn’t even worth firing at anymore. Paige wasn’t betting on the latter possibility.

By the time they were three quarters of the way down the catwalk, she felt certain no one was paying any attention to them. She stretched her sixth sense perception awareness out toward the cell and found an angry, disheartened presence lying inside.

Though Paige could not actually sense the bed that I was lying on, she knew it had to be there. She visualised a blocky grey containment bed similar to the ones she had seen in other cells, then grasped it in the bubble of her mind's sixth sense perception and jerked hard.

A muffled cry of surprise sounded through my door, and the puzzled guards looked from the door to each other. Paige grasped the bed using her sixth sense again, this time applying telekinesis to lift the bottom end off the floor and letting it drop. A sharp bang came through the door, followed by another cry of surprise.

The closer guard pressed his thumb to the security pad then stepped into the cell while the door was still sliding open. The other one frowned at Paige and Mako, who were within a few metres of the cell door and still approaching.

He stepped forward, moving to block their approach. “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but—”

Paige hurled him through the door using a telekinetic push and shoved Mako into the cell after him, then followed and slapped the interior door control. 

The startled guards were just picking themselves up, spinning around to bring up their blaster rifles. Paige flicked her fingers, and the nearer guard’s weapon flew from his hands and smashed butt first into the farther one’s temple. She followed up that attack with a snap kick to the closest guard’s jaw, and both men collapsed in unconscious heaps.

Mako had slipped behind her and was moving toward the door. Paige swung her arm back, pointing at the woman, and warned, “Don’t.”

She turned to find Mako standing a metre behind her, one arm half stretched toward a control panel on the wall. There were pads labeled 'Intercom', 'Lights', 'Patient Emergency', and 'Alarm'.

Even before Paige stepped toward her, Mako lowered her arm and said, “This is going to leave a bruise, isn’t it?”

“Probably.”

Paige smashed a hammerfist into the hinge of Mako's jaw, then caught her when her eyes rolled back and her knees buckled.

“The noble gesture,” a muffled voice said behind her. “Gracious even in victory. That is my traitorous wife, you know. Right now, I'd like nothing more than to put a blaster hole through her temple.”

Paige laid Mako on the floor next to the cell’s empty second bed, then turned to see me watching her through the windowed access panel on the first. I hardly looked like the powerful Züncålazin that I was supposed to be. My eyes were sunken and rimmed in purple, my skin was ashen, and my blonde hair lay straight, flat, and dirty on my head.

“Hello, Kixi,” Paige said. As she spoke, she collected the weapons and comm devices from the two guards she had knocked unconscious. “It’s good to see you. I’m glad you’re alive— And don't worry, you'll get to do better than shoot Mako dead when we wake her up.”

I snorted and looked away. “Yeah but it's still not gonna be easy. I love her, but I can't forgive her for her treachery. Not ever.”

Paige scowled at the bitterness in my voice. Still holding the weapons and comm devices she had taken off the guards, she stepped over to the bed and kneed the access control. As the panel slid down, she saw that I lay beneath a thin blanket, and my legs extended straight out. Both my arms were slightly bent, and Paige could see the outline of heavy restraining cuffs around both my wrists.

Paige laid the weapons and comm devices on the foot of my bed, at the same time saying, “Look, I’m sorry about what she did to the Alliance— to you." She pulled the blanket back and unbuckled the restraining cuffs. “But there isn't much we can do about it except to move on.”

I raised my hand and gestured at Mako's motionless body, and then my heart sank.

“Ah… Kixi. I’m so sorry.” Paige shook her head. Yet deep down she couldn't have been anything else but, barely able to bring herself to meet my gaze, happy that finally her wish to have me rid Mako from existence would come true. “We can deal with her before I get you out of here.”

I nodded. “I know how much you hate her,” I said. “And I don't blame you for that. She's a deceitful woman, I was too naive to ever see it, blinded by love, but these events have now opened my eyes.”

“She had wanted you to kill me.” Paige hooked a thumb at Mako, "But you convinced her to partially lobotomise me in order to save my life. She pulled the rest of the restraints from the storage bin under my bed and began to buckle the unconscious guards to the empty bed. “I love you Kixi— Since the day I defected to the Arjian Resistance and killed Cerberus before your eyes to prove it. I always have, but Mako stood in my way."

“I know Paige. I couldn't make her make me kill you. She tried to force me to make me do it, but I convinced her to purge your feelings for me instead by the means of partial lobotomy. I knew that one day your stolen memories would return to you,” I said, my head turned so I could watch Paige work. “But there is something you should know. I love you Paige. Yes I love Mako, but I love you too. If there is anyone caring, good, and genuine in this universe, that would be you. You are nothing like your mother was, nor Kristy.”

“Thank you Kixi. That... means so much to me,” Paige said. She pulled Mako over next to the guards and used the restraints from the empty bed to secure her in place with them. “I just wish this were all real and not a holodeck simulation.”

I suddenly looked confused, and Paige looked to find me studying her.

“Don't worry about the last part that I said,” Paige said cautiously.

“You have to help me do something,” I said. “And you cannot assist me. I have to do it alone, I mean. You have to promise.”

Paige nodded. “I can do that.”

My eyes grew dead and cold. “I love Mako immensely…” My voice grew strained and cracked, and Paige could tell that I was fighting some sort of internal battle. “I have to forgive her for what she has done, but at the same time end her existence from this realm. It must be done by my hand, and mine alone. Once she has departed, she will await me for whatever awaits us all on the other side for until my time eventually comes. It's the only way, because if she remains amongst the living, forgiving her again for what else she may commit could prove impossible.”

Paige frowned, not really wanting to hear that I still and always would have feelings for Mako, but was nonetheless happy at my decision to want to kill her. “Okay, I can let you do that, Kixi,” she said. “I will only observe. Are you sure you want me to do that?”

I nodded my head at her. “Yes." I answered and then looked away. 

“Okay,” Paige said, eyebrows raised. “I'll wake Mako up. Once she is awake— kill her!"

"Yes Paige, that is what I intend to do. I will look her into her traitorous eyes, and then rid her from existence by chocking her. You Paige will watch as I do it."

"Excellent Kixi, that is exactly what you need to do. Then once you are done with Mako, we'll search for my sister and in turn you can watch me kill her." The left side of Paige's faint red lip tugged upwards creating a sinister smirk on her goddess like face; casting a spell of lust to eyes that dared to look her way. "Now let's get this over with.”

Several minutes later, after Paige shook Mako's unconscious body, she came back into consciousness, but barely. Her head was pounding, and hurting, as did the rest of her body. She moved her jaw first, and felt that her mouth was dry. Immediately after, she tried to open her eyes, but that too hurt. Her sight was vague and foggy, and like her head, was not really there yet. She tried to open her eyes again, but a blinding light filled the room and she shielded herself from the light to dull the pain in her head.

Suddenly, Mako jolted in fear. For a moment she had forgotten where she was. She tried to roll over but soon realised that she could not. One of her hands were cuffed to some sort of fixed object. Finally she managed to open her eyes again, the disjointed haze in her mind receded to the point where she could now make sense of the world around her. Though the edges of her vision flickered and danced. She could just make out a figure squatting a few metres away from her, watching her. Then the moment she realised what had happened, she tried to scream but nothing came out.

“Good, you’re awake Mako." Paige said smiling contemptuously. "Remember when I said I’d rather let you live?" She then asked.

Still dazed, Mako's vision was blurry, as the two vague shapes moved in closer to her. Slowly and reluctantly Mako rubbed her head with the hand that wasn't cuffed to the bed. She then blinked, closed her eyes, and blinked again. “Yes you did.” A soft but nervous voice followed as she answered. 

“Well I was only half telling you the truth.” Sneered Paige. “I’d rather let you live, then, only so I could watch Kixi turn on you, choke you to death while you witness your final moments dying by her hand as she swears her loyalty and love to me.” Paige quickly glanced over at me, and then back at Mako, her face cast as dead pan as she could manage, yet she failed. There at the corner of her would be sombre lips was a crease of amusement.

“No, no, please don’t.” Mako cried out as she stretched out the arm that wasn’t cuffed and made a stop hand gesture. Her heart was thumping so loud that she was sure everyone around her could hear it. She knew what she had done to deserve this. That was the one question that popped up in her mind, and now, she found herself cornered and trapped, with nowhere to go. 

Then, when she thought all would be lost, she, along with Paige and I heard the sound of the cell doors about to open. From there, the sound of a familiar voice as several guards flooded into the room suddenly gave Mako hope.

“Hold it right there.” Kristy, who’s voice was calm and authoritative said. She was a tall woman with olive skin and a brown cascade of tightly curled ringlets framing a narrow face. She studied us— more so her younger sister, with unforgiving judgement. She stood in front of the cell's door centre. Flanking the CEO of Skycom on both sides to where she stood, were her guards, armed and ready to fight. 

Paige however, despite being outnumbered by Kristy’s men, remained unrattled. She looked her sister right in the face and sneered, then turned her head slightly toward my direction. “We’ve got this Kixi. You can finish off Mako once we’ve taken care of them.”

"Sorry, girls. Fun's over." Kristy's lips curled as she spoke, her expression, implacable. "Guards! Arrest them!"

The surrounding guards leapt into action and came straight for us. I ducked as a large one swung a fist at me. It was far from a fair fight; I had five guards on me at once. I shoved one into the other and punched him, but they just kept coming. I tried as hard as I could to hold my ground.

Meanwhile, Paige was fighting a group of guards of her own where another large man rushed her, and she ducked just in time to avoid his fist. Unfortunately, she backed right into another one.

The guard behind her hit her right in her lower back, causing her to crumple to the ground. Two other guards then moved to jump on her, but Paige managed to roll out of the way just in time.

Getting back to her feet, Paige grabbed a chair from next to the bed that Mako was cuffed to, and hit the guard nearest to her with it. He fell to the ground, unconscious.

Next, she kicked the guard in front of her in the legs, forcing him down onto his knees. Without hesitation, she swiftly kicked him in the head, and he slumped to the ground. She was about to hit the next guard when she heard me yell. 

"Paige behind you!"

However, she had no time to turn around before a meaty arm wrapped around her throat.

The guard yanked his arm back, choking her. Paige’s hands clawed at his arm, but it was no use. She couldn't get free. In this instance, because the holodeck’s mortality failsafes had been turned off for this holoprogram, the choke was very real, thereby causing her to slowly lose oxygen.

The guard holding Paige then turned them so that they were facing the other side of the cell. Paige panicked when she saw that I had been restrained by three guards who were holding me still.

The guard holding Paige adjusted, so that he could now use his hand to squeeze her throat instead of his arm. Paige thought that she might have had a better chance of getting loose that way, yet it seemed that his grip was now even stronger.

He lifted her body up so that her feet weren't even touching the ground anymore. She dangled from the hands choking her. Paige was slowly suffocating, and once again tried to pull his hand away from her throat.

She couldn't do it.

His grip was slowly crushing her esophagus, and she started to see spots from the lack of oxygen.

Right before Paige was about to pass out, the guard let go of her abruptly, and her body fell to the floor like a deadweight.

Paige’s hands immediately went to her throat as she coughed and gasped for air. Slowly, her blurred vision returned back to normal. She looked up just in time to see a fist coming towards her face.

The few inches that Paige’s head had been up, the impact of the hit ultimately slammed it back into the ground.

I struggled to break free of the guards that were holding me. "You Skycom bootlicking scum! Let go of me!" The guard closest to the one holding me then hit me in the stomach to shut me up. The more I struggled, the harder they held me.

Another guard kicked Paige in the ribs. The kick was so hard, that I was pretty sure I could hear one of them break. I fought the guards holding me; I had to get to Paige, to help her. But I couldn't get free.

Abruptly, one of the guards hauled Paige up from the floor. She had blood dripping from a cut below her eye, and had a nasty bruise that was already forming there; What in the name of sanity had Paige been thinking when she had deactivated the holodeck safeguards.

Kristy who until now was watching on, got really close to Paige. "You're a pretty thing. Even though between us siblings I'm cuter, I'll definitely enjoy watching my men rape fuck you before you die." She said, her voice dripped with lust and malice. Her eyes roamed her younger sister's body like it was her last meal.

Without warning, Paige headbutted Kristy. Her head snapped back and blood dripped from her nose. She wiped it away with an evil grin. "You little bitch! You'll fucking pay for that!" Kirsty grabbed a handful of Paige's hair and yanked her head back.

At the sight, I bristled. "Don't touch her!" I struggled so hard to get free that one of the guards holding me actually lost his grip, allowing me to use my free hand to punch him. Now that I had some leverage, I was able to fight off all the guards that had been holding me. They were all now either unconscious or dazed on the floor.

I ran over to pull Kristy off Paige, but one of the larger more solidly built guards got in my way. The guard shoved me back so hard that I actually stumbled back a few feet. Undeterred, I brought my hands up, ready for a fight. I would do whatever I could to help Paige.

While that guard was keeping me busy fighting him, Kristy took the opportunity to run the hand that wasn't holding Paige’s hair down to her hips. Two other guards that were close by stepped in to get their share. One of them grabbed Paige’s arse and squeezed it hard, while the other one leaned in against her back to kiss her neck.

Although Paige liked the feel of Kristy’s feminine hand touching her, the same couldn’t be said about the two male guards. Paige shivered with disgust at the feeling of all the hands on her body. She needed to do something, now. 

She kicked out in front of her, catching Kristy in the shin. She let go of her and stumbled back, swearing. Paige spun around and punched the nearest guard in the throat, effectively getting rid of him for a few minutes.

Kristy quickly recovered, and she, as well as the other guard quickly surrounded her. When they both rushed her at the same time, Paige ducked, causing Kristy and the guard to slam into each other.

While they were recovering, Paige jumped onto the back of the guard she had momentarily gotten rid of minutes earlier. She wrapped her arm around his neck, much like what had been done to her. From the angle she was holding on at, the guard couldn't get free, and slumped to the floor within minutes.

By this stage, I had only just overpowered the guard that I was fighting, eventually restraining him in an unbreakable choke hold. Consequently, the guard stopped struggling once he passed out due to oxygen deprivation.

Straightening up, I lunged at the remaining guard that stood to the right of Kristy. Not expecting my attack, I caused him to smash his head down hard on the ground, knocking him out cold. With that momentary distraction, Kristy who was about to rush at Paige turned, and made the grave mistake at inadvertently exposing her back to her younger sister. 

Taking full advantage of the situation, Paige yanked Kristy backward and pressed a cold long blade to her neck. Kristy struggled to get free as Paige pressed the stiletto type knife harder into her, piercing her skin. The CEO of Skycom felt the trickle of her own blood down her neck.

Kristy lowered her arms down to her side and brought her hands together innocuously. "Be reasonable Paige. I'm your sister, and the only family you have left. Right?" 

Yes, so it had seemed, once. But Paige knew better. Much better. Her knife did not waver from Kristy's throat.

"Wrong!" Paige hissed, angrily holding the blade to Kristy's neck. "You, like mother, ceased to be my family the moment you became tyrants. Kixi is my family. I killed mother, now it's your fucking turn to die!" Yet Paige did not slit Kristy's throat. Instead, she withdrew the stiletto from her sister's throat, only to then immediately drive the point of the weapon's long sharp blade into the base of Kristy's skull right between the head and neck. The action severed the brain stem; Kristy made no noise; She just dropped to the ground; Already dead before she hit the ground; And bled profusely.

"Send my regards to mother." Paige said gruffly.

Mako who watched on in horror crawled painfully over to Kristy's deceased form, or tried to, but was stopped by the binders on her wrist.

"And where do you think you're going?" Paige said smiling wickedly. "Kristy's dead. The bitch didn't even scream in her final moments." Paige said as she found the key to the cuffs and unlocked them, releasing Mako. 

"Get up slime bucket! On your feet Mako Jhasmin!" Paige scorned. Her lips pulled back to expose clenched teeth as she grabbed the back of Mako's neck with ruthless pressure, forcibly dragging her onto her feet.

"You know what needs to be done, Kixi." Paige's eyes glowed with savage fire as she moved her head from side to side glowering at Mako, and raised an eyebrow at me.

I bowed my head at Paige, letting my hair screen my face. As I wiped my hand across my forehead to move the hair away, I wanted to turn away in an attempt to hide my shock from her, but my eyes glistened with pain of her betrayal. 

I inhaled sharply, and then glared at my wife with no remorse. “I’ve always regretted marrying you Mako Jhasmin. I’ve loved Paige since the moment I lay eyes on her. Your treachery will make this the perfect opportunity for me to correct that."

"No Kixi, I'm your wife." Mako's lips trembled. "Mercy please. I still love you."

"Yes Mako Jhasmin, and I still love you. However I will take no pleasure in what I'm about to do. None. It's just necessary. You love to hurt, and I can't help defend those who can't fend for themselves with you around secretly working for a sworn enemy. Giving mercy is good until it is proven to hurt the innocent. I haven't laid a finger on you yet, but I see you quiver. How weak you are Mako Jhasmin. The only way to assure you never hurt anyone again is to have you depart from your body and from this realm, where your departed soul will await the inevitability of my eventual arrival. This isn't cruelty, this is mercy and justice combined. You cannot control yourself and so I will control your ultimate destiny."

From there, I didn't even give Mako Jhasmin a chance to respond. I threw my body weight behind the fist that edged closer to her face. It hit her jaw with such force, that her blood pooled into my mouth. Pain erupted from the point of impact. With my own two hands, I grasped her head in my hands and brought my knee cap up to her nose. There was a blunt crack and I released her dark haired head. Crimson leaked from both her nostrils but I didn't hold back, drawing my fist back again, I ploughed it into her stomach causing Mako to fall to the floor. Her chest gently rose and sank with each shallow breath she drew in.

"And now my Mako Jhasmin, you will die." My eyes narrowed as I mercilessly stared at her.

Mako let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. Her shoulders eased their tension. Mako hadn’t yet fully registered the harsh reality that my hologram form was about to kill her, and by the time she did, I had turned her around. As I grabbed her from behind, Mako felt a thick white cloth rope close around her neck, and then that very same cloth being wrapped around her neck. I pulled her backwards to be pinned against me. Instinctively, Mako’s hands flew to her neck, trying to pull the cloth away.

"Kixi please stop!" Her voice barely crept over a strangled cry. She tried to wrestle away from me, but to no avail. "Kixi!" She managed again, but softer this time. Mako was running out of air as she slowly went to her knees, choking.

Mako could hear her own voice over the blood rushing in her ears. She was wasting what little air she had left. But what use would that air be anyway, she wondered. It didn't matter how much breath she had in her, it would all be wasted inside her lungs, unable to draw in the much needed oxygen.

By now our struggle had brought us to the floor. Mako had no more fresh air in her. Her vision became obscured as her eyes rolled back into her head; her eyelids fluttered. Her struggling grew nonexistent; her body eased due to the lack of necessary breath. But still, I did not ease the cloth from around her neck, even after her world had gone dark.

Mako gasped for air, and upon not receiving any, went limp on the ground. I simply frowned, unsatisfied that the cloth that I was tightly pulling around her throat, was preventing me from feeling the weakening of her heartbeat. 

Carefully, I decided to loosen the cloth a tad, just enough for me to slip my thumb under the cloth and onto her throat. Momentarily, Mako was able to breathe some much needed air, but it was only for a few painful seconds. By pressing down on her throat with the tip of my thumb, followed by the wrapping of the rest of my hand around her thin neck, Mako remained on the ground, again going limp. Her eyes were closed, and she was somewhat spread-eagled. Her arms had fallen to her sides, pointing outwards to a degree.

Paige who watched on with a great deal of satisfaction, quickly knelt down and pulled the knot in the cloth towards her, and began to untie it. "You won't be needing this anymore Kixi, just keep pushing down on her throat."

I turned my head slightly to glance at Paige, and nodded, and then looked back down over Mako's limp form. My hands were grasping at her throat, leaving her without air. She managed to open her eyes. They were wide with fear, and small ragged gasps were escaping her throat. Paige took hold of one of Mako’s hands; She fondled it feeling some slow twitching movements from her victim's fingers; She repeatedly rubbed the smooth of her hand up and down the inside of Mako's smooth forearm; Limp as her life drained away from her.

"Now Kixi," Paige said hissing, "fucking finish her!" Her rage held all the power of a wildfire, I could practically see the flames roaring in her eyes, ready to ignite anything that she came in contact with.

Paige stared me passionately while still holding onto Mako’s arm; I in turn stared her back passionately, and then glared back down at an almost lifeless Mako.

“I’m sorry Paige, for not realising it all those years ago that you were really the one.” I said, snarling, while at the same time ensured that those were the last words that Mako heard as I pressed my thumb down harder on her throat; Squeezed my hand harder around her neck.

“Paige, I had you partially lobotomised to convince this false bitch to keep you alive. It was all I could do at the time.”

“It’s okay Kixi. You’ve more than made up for it now, by killing Mako Jhasmin and making me yours.”

Mako could sense herself drifting away from her body, and going away to a peaceful place where there would be no worries whatsoever. But then reality came back, she was almost out of time and she did the first thing she could think of. She clawed her fingers from her free hand at my hand, uselessly. She felt her arms go completely limp, her lungs burnt ever so painfully as darkness overcame her sight. She used her last breath letting out a pained scream, seconds later she knew no more. I continued to stare down at her. I noticed that there was no longer any movement as far as breathing went; Her eyes stared back at me; Lifeless orbs; Paige felt the coldness as it immediately sunk into Mako's arm.

Mako Jhasmin was dead.

Paige formed a fist out of Mako’s small hand and slowly pecked the top of it. "Good, Kixi," her voice a soft whisper as she let go of Mako's hand altogether, and let it drop to the side of her still warm corpse. Slowly, I released my hand from her throat, and even though I knew that she was gone, I kissed her motionless lips lightly, and stroked back her black hair.

Ignoring that Mako lay dead before us, Paige moved in closer to me and put her arms around me. She held me gently, cupping my face with one hand. Paige then leaned down and softly kissed the tender area at the base of my neck. My body went rigid with surprise as trembles shook my body, and the euphoric warmth blossomed within me once more. I was breathless with delight as she showered me with gentle, soft kisses, each with its own flicker of warmth. I gazed up at Paige, thrilled beyond words to be the recipient of her affection. She drew back again and spent a moment studying my face. 

I felt my blush deepen under her scrutiny. Paige gazed at me lovingly, her eyes softening with tenderness before sparking with something else. She tilted my head to the side and kissed me, her lips demanding. I felt a smoldering heat deep within me as Paige’s grip tightened, crushing my body to hers, gentle yet firm. Paige slanted my head further, deepening the kiss.

Although we were both reluctant, after a minute or so we stopped. 

"Paige, there is something I need to do," I said, remembering that Mako’s body lay motionless next to us. Before Paige had a chance to question me, I quickly reached down and took hold of Mako's left hand which lay limp over her stomach. Then, after I pecked her cold hand that was devoid of any life, I removed both her engagement and wedding rings from her finger.

Paige who simply watched on, let the happiness soak right into her bones. She wanted the feeling to one day be there in the presence of the real me; There when we grew old, together. She closed her eyes and savoured the moment, for the first time in forever her body and mind relaxed. I had only just dropped Mako’s now ringless hand and looked up at Paige who had reopened her eyes, when she stretched out her left hand toward me and ecstatically said: “Yes Kixi, I do.” 

After I slipped the rings on Paige’s finger, I slowly took that same hand, brought it to my lips, and gently kissed it. Warmth radiated from the spot where my lips touched her soft hand and tender fingers, and like when she had initially kissed me, it slowly spread through the rest of her body.

“I love you Kixi, so, so much. Thank you for finally seeing that I’m your one and true love.” Paige said as we both got up, and I looked steadily at her smiling face.

"My feelings toward you Paige, are mutual." I said as she turned me around so that she stood directly behind me. My heart began to pound while I stood there with my back facing her. I felt a desire run from my heart, to my chest, and down toward my inner thighs.

Her finger touched my neck, and the hair as it was moved away nearly gave me the chills. Her hands went from the sides of my head and down to my neck, out to my shoulders and down to my hands. She grabbed my hands gently yet firm, put them in front of me and paused. After everything that had just happened, I felt safe, she spoke no words. My heart was about to beat out of my chest, and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath out. Paige kissed my shoulder, and ran her lips on my skin towards my ear, but didn't quite make it that far. I tilted my head, and after her deep breath out she bit me gently. It didn't hurt, it only made me want more.

Paige then turned me around, and we were facing each other. She stared into my eyes and smiled. Her two hands grabbed my left hand and she placed my open palm on her heart, and held it there. Her eyes exuded love, protection, security, safety, patience, and respect. I smiled and she let go of my hands. Then with one hand she ran her fingers through my hair and gently guided my face closer to hers, eventually leaning me in to rest my head on her chest. Her other arm wrapped around me. I hoped she would never let go, she hoped I would stay there forever.

While in that moment against her chest, Paige could only think about what she could do to make the real me do all this. In this moment, within the confines of this self created holodeck program, my hologram felt like the next best thing. Her heart pounded.

“I’ll stage a serious hovercar accident and we’ll make it look like Mako was killed." I whispered as I slowly moved my head away from Paige's chest and looked up at her. "After that we’ll wait a few months, and then we’ll officially get married. That way everybody else will be convinced that I gave it some time to grieve and all that before remarrying.”

“Yes Kixi." Paige's response was soft but reassuring. "We’ll take the precautionary steps. Now that I finally have you, we don’t wanna wind up in prison for her murder.” 

“Yeah, even though it was fucking justified.” I said, my eyes narrowing.  Burning rage hissed through my body like deathly poison at the thought of Mako's treachery, screeching a demanded release in the form of unwanted violence. It was like a volcano erupting; fury sweeping off me like ferocious waves. The wrath consumed like, engulfing my moralities and destroying the boundaries.

Paige put her hand under my chin and lifted my head. Her lips brushed mine. Again it was fiery, passionate and demanding. “Kixi,” she whispered slowly, prolonging each letter as if to savour them. "You don't need to be angry anymore. Mako Jhasmin's gone for good now." I smiled, my heart fluttered at her voice as I clasped my hands on either side of her face. I leaned in for another and then, abruptly pulled back.

"Hey was it me, or did you just see that Paige?" We both stared down at Mako’s body.

The woman on the floor was lifeless. Her black hair was scattered in multiple places. Her eyes; Lifeless orbs; Were wide open; Unmoving, and staring up at the ceiling, but her brownish-jade irises held a sudden sadness. Her body was slumped over, half sitting, half laying on the cold tiled floor— and then it happened again, the sudden spasmodic twitch of one of Mako's legs, and then one of her arms.

“I thought she was dead, Kixi?”

“She is." I moved away from Paige and approached Mako's corpse. I fell down on one knee, and allowed my warm hand to fall softly on her cold skin. I placed my hand over her chest; It did not rise or fall, nor did it contain the hologram's simulated heartbeat. "It’s just the body. It’s like... it's in shock or something. Some of her nerve cells may still have received the last of their oxygen after I killed her. Don’t worry Paige, all spasms as well as random twitching will completely cease in the next hour.”

“I see." Paige said, her voice grim. "I think Kixi, just to be on the safe side, that you should pump a few plasma bolts through her head.” Paige then proactively suggested.

“Sure Paige. Why not. It will make me feel like I’ve killed her twice.” I said with a wry smile, and then got up to retrieve a blaster from one of the fallen unconscious guards. 

“No Kixi. I don't want you to ruin her pretty face." Paige said just as I knelt down again in front of Mako's body and pointed the nozzle of the gun to her forehead. "I wanna keep her head preserved as a souvenir. Shoot her on the side of the head— through the temple.”

Blaster at the ready, the knurled grip felt at home in my palm. In fact because of what I was about to do, it felt all too comfortable in my palm for me, but nevertheless I couldn't wait to hear the sound of the blaster bolts enter her flesh, and cut through her skull and pierce her brain. A second later, the sound of blaster fire filled the air, as six shots ripped into the side of her head, creating a neatly placed hole through the centre of Mako's temple. As I had fired the blaster through her head's entry wound, I had moved the gun around on several angles, which ensured one hole on the side of her head, but at the same time that the plasma bolts all went through different parts of her brain.

Simply watching on, a warm, satisfied smile spread across Paige's face.

“Now she has to be dead Paige— no question about it.”  I leapt to my feet and immediately dropped my blaster which clattered to the ground.

"I love your work Kixi. Now, lets fuck, you and I— and in the presence of that dead scumbag." Paige said tightening her hair into a ponytail.

A cruel sneer formed on my smooth face as I leaned forward and stared at Mako's corpse. My hands twitched and I could feel a vein pulsing in my forehead. I then leaned back again, and bore my eyes straight into Paige's. 

"Yes I would like that," I said, "I would like that a lot."

 

***

 

Suddenly awoken, I opened my eyes and my head throbbed. The pain felt like someone had taken a knife to my skull. I leaned my head against my pillow. Squeezing my eyes shut again, I willed the pain to go away. My thoughts stalled for a moment, and the rest of the world became detached. All I could concentrate on was the pain rooted deep in my head.

"Fuck!" I said aloud; sudden and abrupt. "Kes! No. Jhasmin did this to me!" I shouted out those words; Confused. For a moment, the information refused to form a coherent solution in my head. That until I realised what had happened; What Mako had done, leading me to one conclusion: It was time to call Paige.

With limbs that were alarmingly clumsy, I managed to get out of the bed, collapsing onto the floor as I did so. Although I struggled, I managed to crawl over to the bench where my comms device lay. However, in my current poor state of health, extending my arm out, let alone having to reach out to grab the tiny device proved a strenuous effort. It took a few tries to close my hand around my comm device, and then an exhausting and altogether unbearable effort to finally take hold of it. I was frustrated with the way my body was responding to my commands. So imprecise, awkward, slow. It was agonising.

After another brief struggle, I managed to press the proper series of buttons, and the comm device began sending a sequence of signals to the target comm device. Yet after a minute, no one answered.

Frustrated, I sat there for a moment, still holding my comm device up over the palm of my hand, and then let my hand fall into my lap as the comm device failed to connect. I was starting to feel really ill, pain raced up and down my whole body and then stabbed at the side of my head. My stomach had started giving me an unpleasant feeling, while to further complicate matters, the shaking of my body was starting to become worrisome.

I had to try calling Paige again.

Even clumsier now than before, I forced myself to hold my comm device up and once again attempted a connection with Paige. This time, after only several seconds, the blue haze of Paige's tiny holographic image materialised before me as she answered.

"Kixi?" Paige said sharply, her voice lacked its usual calmness.

I forced words from my numb lips. "Need... you," I mumbled. "My apartment, I’m alone."

"Kixi," Paige repeated insistently.

"I need your help Paige."

There was a short pause, then: "Are you hurt? And where is Mako?" Paige’s voice was carefully even.

Again, much to my frustration, my eloquence failed me. "I'm immobilised. Mako was the one who did this to me. She did the same to Kes and is going to lobotomise her— But there's more. I'll explain it when you get here, but we need to stop Mako, now. The only place she could have taken Kes to, is the old Arjian Resistance HQ underneath Zed's workshop." I said with absolute certainty."

Paige on her comm device and I on mine; We stared into each other's holographic images.

"Shit! Mako did this to you?" Paige asked, barely moving a muscle in her face. "That's impossible."

"I'm afraid it's all very real, Paige."

Paige felt lightning crackle through her veins and the corner of her mouth turned up in a smirk. Deep down she couldn't have asked for anything better; Mako had actually committed an act of  treachery, and this time it wasn't in one of Paige's made up holodeck programs— It was for real.

There seemed to be quite a commotion in the background; the sound of being inside a spaceship during a fierce space battle. 

"Paige?" I whispered.

"I'm here, Kixi." Although I could see her holographic form, Paige's voice seemed so far away.

"Where's that noise coming from? Where are you Paige?" I sounded very tense.

"It's all right," Paige said, in a gentle tone that confused me. "I'm at home, in my personal holodeck, so I'm not that far away. I'll come now."

It was getting difficult to hold my comm device upright in the palm of my hand; I was going to have to end the transmission, even though I was reluctant to do so. "Paige. Going... to end... transmission."

"All right. Fifteen minutes, Kixi. I'll be there in fifteen. Stay awake."

And then the transmission ended. I let the comm device clatter to the floor, let my hand fall to my side, and then closed my eyes as I let out a long breath.

It wouldn't be long now; Paige would come for me. The relief seemed to sap my remaining energy. It was becoming unbearable, the anxiety, and the wait.

 

***

 

Paige turned slightly as the hologram version of myself approached her. “Is something wrong, Paige?” I asked softly.

"Yes Kixi, I’m afraid something rather urgent has come up. That was the real you on the other side of the comms." I fought down my shock, regained my composure, and leaned forward.

“The real me? Paige, I am me. I do not comprehend?” There was a flicker of surprise on my hologram's face as it studied Paige carefully. 

“Umm never mind.” Paige lifted one hand to cut me short. "It's beyond this program's parameters for you to understand. Never mind."

Paige stood motionless, her eyes fixed on my hologram form as if it were a real person, and might have understood something beyond the realms of this holodeck program. “Sorry, we'll continue this another time.” she said softly.

"Computer end program," Paige called out the command leaving her in an empty room. She drew a long breath and exhaled slowly, deeply concerned about me and what Mako had done, but not caring much for how my wife constantly made her feel.

Paige slipped out of the holodeck room and closed the door behind her. She wasted no time in rushing out of her apartment, and then started down the hallway towards the lifts. As she stopped and awaited the lift, she muttering out aloud to nobody in particular. “If only those had been the real Mako and the real Kristy.”

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