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The long awaited fourth chapter has finally made it out.
My eyes snapped open early in the morning hours. I was spooned against Lizell’s back, and sometime in the night we had stripped down to our underwear. I had a real problem. The end of my dream had left me in a condition that could be a serious embarrassment if Lizell woke up.

I started to move and her voice whispered out of the dark. “Who is Pralla?”

“She was my commanding officer in the Praetorian Guard.”

“She must have been one hell of a commanding officer,” Lizell said, as her legs squeezed the evidence between them.

“We were very good friends. We helped each other when we needed it.”

Lizell rolled her head to look at me. I could just see her eyes in the light of the heater unit. “What are we going to do, Drake? We are trapped on a planet with people trying to kill us. Then you bring us to where most of those people are located.”

“We are going to get to the spaceport and commandeer a shuttle. Then I will get you somewhere safe.”

“Where is safe? A jump shuttle can’t get out of the system. They also aren’t armed.”

“I don’t know. I am stuck. If we wait for help to arrive it could be weeks. Any way I think of to get you out has flaws.”

“You could get yourself out if not for me, couldn’t you?”


“Then why are you protecting me?”

“Because, you are an innocent in this. Your life is threatened because of me.”

“I think you have that backwards. Your life would not be threatened if it wasn’t for me.”

I shook my head. “This is too well planned. You were set up to find the information. They needed you to lead them to me.”

“How did they know I would find you?”

“They didn’t. They gambled.”

Lizell sat up and turned the lamp on. “What kind of equipment do you have in those bags?”

“A little of this, a little of that.”

“Do you have a sniper rifle?”

“A couple, why?”

“Can you teach me to use it?”

“I could teach you to shoot the wings off a fly.”

“Good, there is an old hanger at the space port. I saw inside it when we landed. There is an old star yacht inside the hanger. If we can commandeer it, we have a way out.”

“What is your plan?”

“You get me to the top of the communications tower. I will cover you until you get to the yacht. Then you swing by and pick me up and we run like hell.”

“What kind of star yacht is it?”

“It is one of the big old ones, with the side masts.”

“Those came standard with jump radios. If we get to it I can call for help. Let me do some scouting, and I will see what we can do. What do you want for breakfast?”

“Food would be nice.”

“Stay put, and stay down. If I am not back inside an hour, hunker down and try to survive until help arrives.”

“If you are not back in two hours, I am coming to look for you.”

I left her and headed off in another direction. It was dark down here, but the occasional vent gave some light. I found an access after a few minutes and headed up.

When I lifted the hatch I noticed the streets were still empty. I had hit the jackpot though, if I could make it there unobserved. Directly across the street from the alley was a sporting goods shop.

I climbed out and moved to the end of the alley. There was a car at the far end of the street with two men leaning against it. They were facing away from me, and I slipped across the street unnoticed.

I moved to the back of the store and broke in. The first thing I did was grab a hover cart and power it up. Then I moved to the tools area and grabbed a tape measure. The cart would fit down the hatch. I started to pile the cart high with food items, camping gear, a battery-operated stove, and some extra batteries. Then some small propane tanks went in the cart. Then I headed for the ammo area. I started to load up on rounds that would fit my weapons. Then I noticed a spot of luck. This had to be the only shop on the planet that carried black powder. I threw several cans in the cart. Then I moved to the fishing gear and gathered several large spools of line. I shortly had a cart full of enough food and gear to keep us going for a couple weeks.

I moved to the back door and peeked out. That damn car was sitting right at the end of the alley.

Both men were standing there and talking. I heard snippets of their conversation.

“Jax, you are just strange. Why did you have to kill that woman?”

“I thought she was good, so I didn’t want anyone else to enjoy her.”

“That is bullshit! You just get off on the killing. Besides, she couldn’t have been good -- you were raping her.”

My anger boiled up and I raised my weapon.

“You’re right. She really wasn’t that good. Maybe we can find another one wandering the streets.”

“We need to keep our mind on our job. The duchess is going to be pissed if we don’t kill this bastard before we have to leave. The imperial forces will be headed this way as soon as they realize the planet is off the communications grid.”

“That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves while we are here. How often do you get a chance to rape someone?”

I was seeing red, I aimed very carefully and started to squeeze the trigger. Then my mind cleared. If I killed these two, they would be missed. If they died this close to the access hatch, our hiding place might be given away.

I gave a light growl and started to lower my weapon. I watched and engraved their appearance in my mind. A few minutes later, they got into the car and drove off.

I pushed the cart out into the alley and looked across the street. The car was now a couple hundred yards down the street. The men had not exited the vehicle yet, so I dashed across the street and into the alley. I quickly opened the access hatch and pushed the hover cart over the top of it. As the cart sank into the tunnels I entered and climbed down the ladder, shutting the hatch behind me.

I was about a hundred feet up the tunnel from our hiding place when I saw the light, from our lamp and heater, go out. I froze and listened. There was the sound of a motor in the tunnels.

I moved to the shadows and waited. Soon there was a bright light shining down the tunnel. They were searching the tunnels for us. I don’t know how they found the tunnels. They had been closed so long, most people did not know they were here. I only knew about them because Randall and I had discovered them as kids.

The light passed on and headed down another tunnel. I started moving again and soon was at the platform. I heard the slight click as the safety on one of the pistols clicked off. “It is me. Relax.”

“Damn it, Drake, I could have shot you. They are searching the tunnels.”

“I saw. We are going to have to go deeper in. There is a tunnel I am pretty sure they won’t search. Let’s load the bags on this cart and head there.”

We quickly had the bags on the cart and were moving through the tunnels.

“Where is this place they won’t search?”

“There is a section of the tunnels that collapsed. There is a way through if you know how. The other side is a dead end with another controller’s office.”

“I guess there is food in the cart?”

“There should be enough for us to last a while if we need to. There is a working water line in the office so water won’t be a problem.”

It took us a couple hours to make it to the collapsed section. Then I showed her how to get through. It took another half hour to get our gear through the thin passage.

As I moved our gear in she was going through it and seeing what she had to work with.

“I will be back in a bit. I need to ditch the hover cart. Stay put and don’t come looking for me. You should have enough food to last a couple weeks if I don’t come back. By then it should be safe to come out.”

“Drake, you had better come back. This is going to be a very scary place to live with no company.”

I smiled and moved out of the area. I pushed the cart for a couple miles, then I took some pieces of rubble and covered it. Now it just looked like another piece of junk in the tunnels.

Now it was time to hunt. I knew where I wanted to go, and I knew which way to go. It was going to be a long walk. Then I heard shouting down one of the tunnels. They had found our abandoned hovercar. That would be a good place to start.

I checked my weapons. It was time to be silent and deadly. I moved down the tunnels at a lope until I was just a little way from the car. I saw the men standing around it, and I moved into the maintenance tunnel to the side.

I moved through the pitch black of the side tunnel until I saw a light. Then I smiled. One of the men was leaning against the door with his head against the small barred window.

I moved behind him with my short sword in my hand. A quick jab and he exhaled slowly. His weight was now hanging on my blade imbedded in the back of his skull. I pulled out a spool of heavy fishing line and looped a short piece around his neck. I tied it off to the bars on both sides. Then I pulled my blade free. He now hung from the fishing line like a puppet.

I then leaned forward to look out the little window. There were three other men out there. One of them was headed down the tunnel that I had just left.

I moved like my ass was on fire. I made it to the door before he got there. Then I waited. I would have a split second to react. I pulled a throwing spike and cocked my arm.

He stepped into view and my arm flashed forward. The aim was perfect. The spike went in just under his ear and he slowly folded to the ground.

I dragged him into the tunnel and tried to pull my spike out. It was no good -- I threw it too hard and he would now be buried with it.

I moved back out into the main tunnel, and moved to the other side so I could see onto the platform. Both men stood there and watched the car.

It was almost ten minutes before one of them got curious about where the other man had gone. He stepped out to look down the tunnel. “Franz, are you down there?”

I made a light moaning sound as if I were in pain.

The man started to move towards me.

“Davey, something is wrong with Pete. I think he is dead.”

The man coming towards me turned to look back to the platform where his friend had called out to him. My throwing spike was in his brain before he could speak.

I watched the man slide to the floor. Then I moved up the tunnel and towards the platform. I would have just a split second again.

The last man stepped around the edge of the wall to look for his friends. His eye sprouted a throwing spike instantly. The last of the four fell off the platform as the life left his body.

I managed to retrieve these two throwing spikes. I then moved over to the car we had brought in with us. I had not brought any explosives with me so I was going to have to get creative. Then I got a smile of pure evil on my face. All cars had a homing system. All I had to do is activate the one on their car and it would return to its home location.

I used one of my vibe knives to poke a hole through the firewall into the engine compartment. Then I strung a piece of fishing line through it and tied it to the elevation controls. If you trapped a hover car under a ceiling and put the elevators on full force, it would overheat in seconds. Once it overheated, the engine would go into shutdown mode. If I removed the safety system it would go into thermal avalanche. Thermal avalanche led to an explosion.

Then I loaded the four dead bodies into the car. I tied the end of the string to the body in the driver’s seat. If they opened the door, the body would fall out, and the car it would go into full climb mode. This was not a rental car. It had to have been brought with them on the jump shuttle. I reached in and hit the homing system. Then I shut the door and backed up. The car rose smoothly and started down the tunnel towards the entrance.

I then moved over to the car they left behind. I repeated the process to rig it to explode. Then I tied the string to the inside of the door. This one was rigged for the opening of the door. I hacked the vehicle and started it. Then I left it running as I walked away.

Twenty minutes later, I saw another car moving slowly down the tunnels, using a search light to look down the side tunnels. I stepped into the middle of the tunnel and aimed with my rail pistol. Two quick pops later, the car drifted slowly to the ground.

I waited until the spotlight swung towards me then, I shot it out and ran to the side. Rounds started whistling by at a ferocious rate. I leaned out and shot out the headlights.

I waited until the car door opened. The dome light came on in that instant. Two more pops and the men sagged down and died.

I moved off in another direction. I was never as grateful as I was at this moment for a misspent youth. I knew these tunnels well.

How many had I killed? How many were left? I moved up and out of an access hatch. From here, I could see the landing tarmac of the space port. There was a very large jump shuttle sitting in the port. There was also a black car headed for the ramp at the rear.

Thirty seconds after the car entered the back of the craft, it exploded. They would not be using that shuttle to leave the planet.

I knew they would get reinforcements soon. The duchess was going to be pissed beyond reason, though. Jump shuttles were not cheap.

I was headed back to our hiding place a few hours later. The explosion sounded so loud in these tunnels. Another group had found the car I left running on the platform.

I had taken out at least seven patrol groups down here. They would be sending more soon. Now it was time for lunch.

I made it to the collapsed section a few minutes later. I squeezed through the little area that allowed access. Then I stood and listened. There was a slight sound of water splashing near the controller’s office. Then my eyes made out a beautiful sight. Lizell was sitting on her legs, naked, next to a pot of hot water. She had a cloth out and was washing herself. I was tempted to just stand there and watch for a while. Her body was spectacular. “I am in the area,” I said softly, so she would know I was present.

To my surprise she did not try to cover up. She continued to wash her self off. “Why don’t you come clean up? I have lunch cooking for us.”

I moved into the small ring of light made by the dim lamp. “I could use a hot meal and a hot bath.”

She looked up at me and smiled. “You definitely need a bath. You are covered from head to foot in dust and grime. Take your clothes off and come here.”

I blushed lightly as I walked over and placed my weapons in a pile near her. Then I began to strip out of my clothes. Once I was naked, she guided me to sit down with my back to her.

I felt her hand and the soapy cloth begin to caress my back and neck. It truly felt wonderful. As her cloth moved downward, my face turned redder.

“You don’t need to blush. I have seen men before,” she whispered, as I felt her finger begin to trace the scars on my back. “You have been through some rough times, haven’t you?”

“I have had my share of wounds,” I whispered into the dark around us.

“Is there someone special in your life?”

“There was once. I failed her and did not know what a good thing I had until it was too late.” I felt my chest tighten at the memory of tears on my arm.

“I am sure she forgives you.”

“I will never know.”

“You should try and find her.”

“I could not hurt her that way. She is married and has children now. She does not need a ghost from her past to haunt her.”

“Would the comfort of your arms, maybe extend to more in the night?”

“I would truly be honored, but I cannot until you are safe. I would not want the situation to make you offer something you would not give any other time.”

I felt her silky lips as they kissed my shoulder. Then her hands reached around me to start washing my chest. “I don’t want to wait that long. Make love to me.”

“You may regret it.”

“No, I don’t think I will, but if I do I will live with it.” As she finished speaking, she moved around to face me. Then she leaned in and her lips touched mine. My will broke at that small contact. I reached out and put my arms around her. Then I clutched her to my chest. Our lips never broke contact as she continued to wash me.

When her delicate hand wrapped the cloth around my manhood, she moaned into my mouth. The iron she found there had told her she had won a battle I had lost. She would get what she asked for.

Her hands pushed me backwards to make me lay out on the cold ground. Her kisses finally broke free from my lips and started trailing down my chest. I felt her delicate hand wrap around me once again. Then she started a slow stroking of the object in her hand.

She climbed up my body and straddled my hips. I looked down to see the beautiful red carpet that matched her drapes. The dew on her petals glistened in the dim light. She was excited and ready for our joining.

Her hand guided my staff to the entrance to the promised land. Then she slowly lowered herself to take me in. Her body was hot and ready. She slid downward slowly, feeling my entrance as it sank into her, inch by inch. She sighed at the same rate as her downward move.

Once she was seated fully onto me, I reached out my arms and again brought her to my chest. Our lips met as I started a slow gentle thrusting rhythm. I could feel her panting into my mouth as we joined. Her orgasm built rapidly as we made love. This was not just sex. We were making love. We were joining in a way I never had before.

I reached down to caress her ass as she quivered higher. When her orgasm hit, I ran my fingernails lightly from the top of her butt to her shoulders. She arched her back and cried out. I felt the gush of her fluids as she passed through the thunderstorm of her orgasm. Then she collapsed onto my chest as the strength drained out of her.

I started to increase the speed of my thrusts as she tried to recover. Her second orgasm came almost as fast as her first had. When she arched her back, I reached up and pinched lightly at her nipples. Her cries this time were filled with a passionate promise. I knew what it meant. My doubts faded with that cry. She had given herself to me. The reason I had retired was in my arms. This woman would be mine until the end of our days.

We rose and fell together several times. Our bodies remained entwined. She coaxed from me something no other woman had. I had three orgasms myself before I fell exhausted. I had not gone soft between.

We fell asleep with her still on my chest.

My eyes opened an hour later. My smile came unbidden to my lips. The bob implanted in my ear beeped three times, then fell silent. One minute later it, beeped three times and fell silent again. This repeated ten times.

I reached up and rubbed her back as she lay on top of me. When her eyes opened she smiled. “You are still inside me and I don’t think it would take much to get you going again.”

“I think you promised me lunch, my love.”

At my words her eyes grew wide and vulnerable. Then she lay her head on my chest and I felt the tears fall to mingle on the skin there.

“Did I say something wrong?”

“No,” she answered in a choked whisper. “You said something I never expected to hear from you. I love you, too.”

I wrapped my arms around her and held her to my chest. I held her tight as she wept softly on my chest.

“It is time to get up, you lazy lout. I have to feed you so you can get us out of this mess I made.” She sat up and moved towards the heater unit. Then she checked the pot she had on it. “It doesn’t look like it overcooked too badly. Get a couple of the bowls and we can eat some stew.”

As we ate, we talked softly.

“What was that explosion I heard earlier?”, she asked softly.

“Some of the men had a real blowout on one of the platforms. They are now really badly hung over.”

She dropped that subject quickly. She was pretty sure she did not want to know what they were hanging over. “Are we going to try and get to the star yacht?”

“No, I think they have the spaceport really well-covered. We are going to hang tight for a while and see what develops.”

“That does not sound like you, Drake. Through this whole thing you have been proactive, and now you want to change to reaction mode.”

“I have my reasons.” As I spoke, the bob in my ear started beeping again. It was nine cycles of three beeps at one minute intervals. “I am going to do a little more scouting. Maybe I can find a way to get to a safer and more comfortable place.”

“Stay safe, please.” The words sank into me. She was very worried about our chances of getting out of this. My worry had dissipated with those beeps.

“We are going to make it, Lizell. We have an Angel on our side and all we have to do is let her protect us.”

“What has happened? You have had a huge reversal in attitude all of a sudden.”

“Let’s just say an Angel sang to me and gave me a sign. That sign was a very good one.”

I moved towards the pile of rubble that protected us. As I squirmed through, I froze in my tracks.

“Do you think there is anything on the other side of it?”, a voice said out of the darkness ahead.

“I don’t know, but if we don’t check, the duchess will have us strung up. Get on the com-web and get a blasting crew down here. We will blow a hole in the rubble and go look.

Damn it! I had to stop that radio call. I moved as fast as I could and still remain silent. I was too late. When I cleared the rubble pile one of the men was in the hovercar. I did not hesitate. I threw a throwing spike into the man still out of the car. Then I pulled my rail pistol and fired through the open door into the other man.

I moved back to the crawlway. “Lizell get the gear, we have to move. Now!”, I called back into the darkness.

She was moving fast when she pushed the first bag out to me. I opened it and retrieved the micro computer. I had the car hacked by the time she came out with the second bag.

She came out a few moments later with some of the gear I had pilfered. I started going through it and pulled out the propane bottles and black powder. I then started hiding them in the rubble of the mound.

She returned with the last of the stuff just as I was finishing up. “Get in the car. We have to leave.”

She did not even comment on the blood in the car.

We were moving at a dangerous pace through the tunnels. I was headed towards the first entrance I had ever discovered. It was on the east side of town and well hidden by overgrowth. I had to hope it was undiscovered.

I turned a corner at a pace that would have scared a race driver and dead in my path was another car. I headed straight for and over the car as fast as I could. They were on my tail in seconds. There ahead of me was the weed choked entrance. If you did not know it was an entrance you would never see it.

I hit the roots and stems like a pile driver and forced our way through. Then I pulled the ejection handle. I hoped this would work. Our pod arched into the air and started to tumble. The airfoil opened and we started our controlled decent. Then there was an explosion below and behind us. The following car had not seen the car trapped in the weeds.

As soon as our pod hit the ground, I was moving. I had the door open and was climbing out before the airfoil collapsed. Lizell was right behind me. I left the pilfered goods and grabbed the two bags. We ran through the weed-choked fields as fast as we could.

“Give me one of the bags,” Lizell said, as we stopped inside the tree line.

I helped her put it on her back, then placed mine. “We have a couple miles of walking, then we are going somewhere you may not like.”

“If it is safe, I will love it.”

Soon we were looking at the back of a building on the very edge of town. The walls were old-style brick and the doors were painted red. The shutters were a garish purple and the curtains hanging in the windows were all a different color. Over the back door was a red light that burned brightly in the evening air.

“Is that what I think it is?”

“That depends on what you think it is.”

“Is that a pleasure house?”

“It is what you think it is.”

We moved up and knocked on the door. A middle-aged woman with a painted face opened the door. “We are not open yet. Go get drunk at a bar and… Oh, my God! Is that you, Drake?”

“Yes, Momma Kita. I am back, and I am in trouble.”

“You are always in trouble. I thought we had seen the last of you sixty years ago.”

“We need a place to hide for a few days.”

“Get in here before someone sees you. The basement is shielded and should keep you safe. You already know that though.”

“Momma Kita, this is Lizell. She is very special to me,” I said, as I walked into the house.

“So, someone finally caught you. Good work, Lizell. We all thought when his momma died he would never be anything but a sneak thief. Then one day, he and that other rascal he used to hang around with joined the military and slipped off one step ahead of the police.”

“You know they only wanted me for questioning. You always taught me that stealing was wrong.”

“No, I taught you not to get caught. The people who have taken over the town come here at night. You will have to stay in the basement during business hours.”

“We will stay hidden. Is there any chance you have some of those stuffed mushrooms made up. We could really use something besides trail food.”

“That’s the boy I came to love. Food first, fighting second,” she said as she led us to the kitchen. “We were all at Randall’s funeral.”

Soon we were sitting down in the basement and eating Momma Kita’s stuffed mushrooms. I once would swear the customers came here for these and not the girls.

“How long have you known Drake?”, Lizell asked as we ate.

“I have known him since he was born. His momma used to work for me a long time ago. She met his daddy and he convinced her to quit and become his wife. They were a good couple. His father was a dock worker down at the space port. When Drake was fifteen, a local crime group tried to get his father to help them smuggle in some illegal cargo. He refused and they killed him and his wife. We girls kind of took Drake in after that. He was officially a child of the court and lived at the children’s home. During the day he was here, at night he went to the children’s home. We couldn’t let him stay here at night. If a customer got out of hand, Drake would turn into an ass-kicking machine.”

“So he has always been a bodyguard of types?”

“You know what he used to do in the military?”

I looked up sharply. How did Momma Kita know what I used to do?

Momma Kita looked at me. “You are not the only one who can see.” She got up and retrieved a book from the shelves. When she returned, she opened it. It was full of newspaper clippings of my military career. “We were all so proud of him. Then, ten years after his career started, he just disappeared. We all wondered what had happened to him until I found this on the news web one day.” She showed a picture of me standing next to Robert. It was taken the day after the funeral for his father.

“That day my heart swelled with pride for the young man I had helped to raise. We had a hard time tracking him, but snippet here and a bit there told us how it was going. This is the last article we ever found.” This was another picture of me standing next to the emperor. In that picture, I wore the rank I had achieved before I retired.

Lizell looked up at me and back at the picture. “You were the Supreme Marshal?”

“It was an honorary title. Technically the Supreme Marshal position only exists during a time of full war and that person is in absolute command of the military, second only to the Emperor. He put the pins on me and told me when war broke out I would assume my new duties. Until then I would act as the Grand Marshal of the Praetorian Guard.”

“That is not the way I heard it,” Momma Kita said, with a smile. “I heard that he put all the military under your command and told you to run it.”

“Who told you that outrageous lie?”, I said with a smile.

“An angel,” Momma Kita answered.

In my ear the beeps started again. This time it was five cycles of three beeps.

The last of the customers had gone home and the doors were shut again. It was a couple hours before dawn and I stood on the roof, looking through a pair of binoculars. There were now two more jump shuttles at the space port. I watched as they removed the hovercars from the cargo bay and reset the homing beacons. That trick would not work again. Then I saw something that made me growl.

A group of men came out of one of the shuttles, and in their midst walked a woman. It was the Grand Duchess Daria. I would know that bitch in the dark.

In my ear the beeps started again. This time it was twenty cycles of two beeps.

I had to ground those shuttles. I would see this lady in chains before this was over.


2017-07-17 21:28:50
I like this story.


2016-06-22 01:48:48
Enjoying myself one more time

Anonymous readerReport 

2015-01-10 02:17:30
HELLO AGAIN B/ FORCE,, still reading,, still loving it,, regs,,, djb8247

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