To read the chapters already posted, go here.
The old man sat with his legs propped against the pillar of the old pub, listening to the raucous shouts and laughter coming from inside. From time to time poked his head in, just to see what was going on. He saw the two strangers sitting there drinking while five other men were playing cards. He sighed greatly as he covered his mouth with part of his grey tunic as the darkening sky and the biting dust blustered about. His attention focused back toward the barren landscape and saw another motorbike approaching. As it came closer, the dust rode up hard into his face as he tried to turn his head away from the smoke and gravel. He vehemently cursed as he covered his face until it slowly began to die down. As he moved his arm from his eyes, he noticed a shiny black motorbike, just like the ones that had pulled up earlier and were parked just a few meters away. His eyes narrowed as he recognized the Starfleet emblem that was emblazoned on the side of the bike. His spiteful eyes looked up to see the driver hop off the bike and he gasped as the helmet was taken off to reveal long-flowing blond hair. He was shocked to see such a beautiful woman driving a vehicle like that bike, for most of the women he knew that rode motorbikes were hard to look at. His eyes never left her as she first looked at the bar and then at him. She then walked up to him and smiled apprehensively.
“I’m looking for the two men who were riding those bikes over there,” she said to him as she pointed to the two near-identical bikes.
She rolled her blueish-green eyes at the drunk who just continued to stare at her as if in a trance. She then heard loud shouting and a heavy crash.
“I guess I’m at the right place,” she said to herself in a low voice as she walked into the bar.
Her wrist com beeped. “Anything yet, Danyelle?”
“Yeah, I think so,” she replied. I’ll let you know in a minute, Hot Rod.”
“Okay, Commander, stay safe.”
The screaming and yelling became apparent after she crossed the threshold. Four extremely large men and a smaller one had surrounded two others dressed in security tunics. She shook her head and scowled at the scene that was playing out.
“What kind of trouble are you in now?” She said under her breath as she took a seat at the far end of the bar.
The smaller man, who’s face was beet red, was pointing a finger in one of the young men’s face. Danyelle listened intently to what was being said.
“What’s up, Laga, Zapato finally let you off his leash?” The young man who’s face was being pointed at asked, a look of boredom etched on his face.
Laga laughed sardonically. “You know me, but I don’t know you, though you do look like the men who have been hanging around the Centrattian supply freighter.”
“Supply freighter? I don’t know anything about a supply freighter.” He paused. “Hold on,” he said as he turned to the other guy. “You know anything about this, Av?”
“Not a bloody thing, Aran,” Av replied. “Personally, I try not to hang around them due to the stench.”
“I hear you, Amigo,” Aran replied back as he began wafting the air with his hand. “I think I smell it now.”
One of the larger men threw a punch that hit Aran square in the face, while another guard had grabbed hold and was holding him down. The other two thuggish men grabbed Av and began beating on him. Laga watched with a satisfactory gleam in his eyes as his men worked the two strangers over. Danyelle began reaching for her gun but stopped when Laga spoke.
“You like that?” He asked with a hint of cockiness and bravado. “Are you big on pain? Because I’m about to give you a world of it, tough guy!”
Aran spat blood in his face. “Bite me!” He replied as Danyelle rolled her eyes.
Laga snarled and drew back his fist and threw a hard punch aimed for Aran’s face. Aran jerked his right arm to the left, catching the one holding down slightly off guard. The blow struck the thug in the head, causing Laga’s hand to break in several places. Laga screamed in pain as he hit the floor clutching the broken hand as Aran kicked him hard in the face, causing his nose to shatter as droplets of blood sprayed the area. Aran then blasted the other thug holding him with his fists repeatedly. As he continued punching the thug, Aran glanced over at Av, who had taken care of the two thugs that had held him.
“You okay, Av?” Aran asked as Av laid the last thug with a blow to the mouth.
“Aye, these wankers didn’t put up much of a fight,” Av replied, wiping the blood off his face. “Do ya reckon they’ve somfin’ to do with Klaw?”
“Not sure,” Aran said as he stopped pummeling the thug who had passed out. “Lets ask Laga.”
Both Aran and Av turned to see Laga trying to escape out the door. Aran grabbed a chair and flung it at him. With a resounding crash, the chair hit it‘s mark, knocking him down hard to the ground. Av quickly ran to the bloody mess that was Laga and turned him over.
“He’s out colder than a hoomchi on ice,” Av chortled. “He doesn’t stand up to well, does he?”
Aran was about to answer but heard the click of an ancient gun. He turned to see the bartender nervously holding the gun and gesturing at him. Then there was a loud thud as the bartender fell over.
“Well, that was certainly entertaining,” Danyelle said from the far end of the bar with her gun pointing at them.
Caught off guard, Aran and Av both reached for their weapons as Danyelle walked out of the shadows and placed her gun back in it’s proper spot. Both Aran and Av looked dumbfounded at the sight of her.
“Though I should’ve let him shoot Av,” She said regrettably.
“Danyelle Hawkins,” Aran said as he relaxed his gun hand. “I haven’t see you…”
“In over two star years,” Danyelle finished for him.
“Has it been that long?”
“Hold the phone,” Av said to Aran with a slight tremble in his voice. “Danyelle is the woman yer always goin on about?”
“Shut up, Av” Aran told him as Danyelle gave the both of them a scathing look. Aran gave her one right back. “What are you doing here?”
Aran looked at her curiously as she hesitated. Though he wasn’t quite sure why she was here, he had a sneaky suspicion who had sent her. Truth be known, he was quite surprised that they hadn’t come looking for him sooner.
“Ramon sent me,” she replied. “He wants you to come in.”
“Not interested,” he told her with an air of finality. “I have work here to do.”
“Yeah, following your wild goose chase,” Danyelle said with an angry tone.
“Wild goose chase?” Aran snapped back. “I work security for Drabek Shipping. How is that a wild goose chase?”
“You’re looking for Klaw,” Danyelle replied back. “You know it, I know it, and both Admiral Komminsk and Ramon knows it. Even Admiral Mattingly knew it before he died. Do you think we’re all stupid?” She stopped and paused from the look he was now giving her.
“Look, Klaw isn’t going to be found just anywhere. You know how much of a sneaky rat he always was. Besides, we think he was behind the kidnapping of Princess Ashlynn Ascalon. I’m sure you remember her.” She put a lot of emphasis on the last word.
Aran sighed. “Still not letting that go, are you?” he asked her.
Aran sighed as he walked around the smashed up bar. He checked on the thugs to see if they were still knocked out, which they were. He then took a gander at the bartender.
“What did you do to him?” He asked.
“Stunned him,” Danyelle replied. “We also need to make sure that old man out front didn’t run off and tell any of Laga’s buddies what happened here.”
Av headed toward the door. “I’ve got it,” he said.
Danyelle looked back at Aran, who was deep in thought. “At least hear them out,” she told him. “This is big, this kidnapping. Ramon was worried that Zapato wasn’t the main culprit, but I don’t know what he meant.”
Aran sighed. “Ramon must be desperate,” he told her.
“And why is that?”
“Because he sent you,” he replied grumpily. “He knew you’d be the only one to talk me into it.” He sighed heavily as he shook his head. He looked back at Danyelle with exasperation lit in his eyes. “Fine I’ll go.”
He checked his wrist-com and then looked at the six men laying in a heap of carnage. One of the larger thugs began to stir. He raised his head and looked right out of his off center eyes right at Danyelle. He began to slowly reach for her but Aran grabbed the back of his head and planted his face right into the hard floor of the bar.
“Was that necessary?” Danyelle asked as a heavy pool of blood gushed from the thug’s broken nose.
Aran looked at her and smiled. He promptly walked over to Laga, picked him up over his shoulder and carried him out the doors. He glanced at Av, who was leaning against one of the pillars, watching the old man struggle against the binds that was placed on him. Aran nodded at him and walked down the small steps onto the dusty ground. When he had cleared the porch, he turned to face the bar and pushed a button near his wrist-com. His boots ignited and slowly lifted him up into the air. When was eye level with the top of the bar, he attached Laga’s tunic to an exposed metal bar and left him hanging there. Aran smiled and made his way back to the ground.
“Come on, let’s get going,” Danyelle told the both of them as she turned her syclone on.
“What about Wyn?” Aran asked her as both he and Av started theirs.
“He already knows,” she replied back. “He’s the one that told me where to find you. Now do try and keep up.”
Her syclone took off in a cloud of dust as Aran just shook his head. With a small suppressed grin, he nodded at Av as their syclones took off after her.